Manila Bulletin - PET to retrieve ballot boxes from 44 municipalities in Iloilo

By Raymond Antonio | Manila Bulletin

Ballot boxes and other election documents will be retrieved by the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, from Iloilo starting on May 21, Monday, for the election protest filed against Vice President Leni Robredo.

The PET retrieval team will receive the ballot boxes from 2,748 clustered precincts in 44 municipalities and cities that will be delivered by municipal treasurers and local election officers.

The municipalities include Guimbal, Miagao, Oton, Tibauan, San Joaquin, Igbaras, Tubungan. Alimodian, Leganes, Leon, New Lucena, Pavia, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, Batad, Sara, San Rafael, Dingle, and Carles, among others, while the two cities are Passi and Iloilo.

The retrieval process will last until May 25, Friday.

The ballot boxes will be hauled in a staging area at the Philippine Span Asia Container, Inc. in Jaro, Iloilo City then the PET retrieval team will bring them to the SC-Court of Appeals gymnasium in Manila for the ongoing manual recount.

A statement from Robredo’s camp said her legal team will fly to Iloilo to observe the first day of the ballot retrieval process.

Iloilo is one of the three contested pilot provinces that Marcos chose for the initial recount for his protest. The other two are Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental.

PET is now recounting votes in Robredo’s home province at the SC revision hall.

The lawyers of Robredo have repeatedly said that not a single election protest even involving those of local positions had been successful since the start of automated polls in 2010.

The Vice President has always said she wants the ballot recount for Marcos’ protest to be finished soon as it would affirm her electoral victory in the 2016 polls.

Official results of the vice presidential race in Iloilo showed that Robredo got 573,829 votes as against the 94,411 votes of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Overall, Robredo defeated Marcos in the vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than the 14,155,344 votes garnered by Marcos.

But the namesake and son of the former dictator protested the results in 132,446 precincts in 27 provinces and cities on allegations that she and Liberal Party cheated in the elections.

Marcos identified the three pilot provinces with 5,418 ballot boxes that will be opened and counted for the initial phase of the revision.