Vice President Leni Robredo has reportedly lost 5,000 votes in her turf, Camarines Sur, after the Presidential Electoral Tribunal ruled that only ballots which were 50 percent shaded should be considered valid votes.
Quoting revisors involved in the manual recount of ballots, the Manila Bulletin reported Monday (April 16) that the PET’s ruling may favor former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. since the votes for Robredo will be substantially diminished.
“It’s still a long way to go but with the figures coming out, we can see a pattern that could lead to substantial recovery or change in the results of the elections, which could favor the protestant (Marcos),” they said.
The manual recount, now on its third week, involves the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental. Its results will determine whether Marcos’ poll protest against Robredo will proceed.
Revisors will have to manually tally the votes from 1,400 ballot boxes in 5,418 clustered precincts in the three provinces identified by Marcos in his poll protest.
Robredo won against Marcos in the 2016 polls with over 250,000 votes.
In a resolution issued April 12, PET denied Robredo’s motion to use the 25-percent threshold on the shading of the oval on the ballot to determine the validity of the vote cast for a particular candidate.
PET said Robredo’s claim that there will be a “systematic reduction of her votes” if the 25-percent threshold is used” is baseless and “shows a misunderstanding of the revision process.
The Vice President cited as basis for using the 25-percent threshold the Random Manual Audit Visual Guidelines and the Random Manual Audit Report and that “Rule 43 of the 2010 PET Rules has been superseded by the 2018 Revisor’s Guide.”
PET, however, said it is unaware of any Commission on Elections resolution regarding the applicability of a 25-percent threshold.