The Manila Times - Mandatory psych tests to delay VP recount

13 February 2018

By Jomar Canlas | The Manila Times 

A mandatory psychological testing and examination has been ordered for all applicants for head revisors in the recount of the vice-presidential results sought by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is protesting the 2016 victory of Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo.

The Manila Times was able to obtain a two-page internal memorandum of Supreme Court Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa dated January 29, 2018, which also contained the whole timeline or schedule of the court in connection with the revision of ballots.

This new suggestion to the high court has caused a delay in the revision of ballots, instead of the earlier February to March 19. Preparations for the psychological examinations started on Monday.

“The psychological exam is a pre-qualification requirement and is meant to test an applicant’s integrity, logical reasoning, verbal ability, as well as propensity for deceit and bias,” the document stated.

“Aside from the psychological exam, the applicants will also undergo intensive training to be conducted by representatives from the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). The SET representatives shall evaluate and rank the applicants based on their performance and output during the entire exercise,” it stated.

Caguioa has presented to the court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), the projected timeline of activities leading to the revisions, with March 19 as the first day of revision.

In his protest, Marcos is assailing the results in 39,221 clustered precincts. He paid for a recount in 36,465 precincts and wants the votes in the remaining 2,756 nullified.

Marcos lost to Robredo by only 263,473 votes.

He accuses the vice president of benefiting from “massive electoral fraud, anomalies and irregularities” such as pre-shading of ballots, pre-loaded secure digital data storage cards, misreading of ballots, malfunctioning counting machines, and an “abnormally high” unaccounted votes/undervotes for the position of vice president.

The PET has ordered the retrieval of all the ballot boxes and election paraphernalia in the three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental identified by Marcos.