By Ina Reformina | ABS-CBN News
MANILA – The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) should disregard the Office of the Solicitor General’s (OSG) comment in the election protest of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos as it was not privy to the threshold shading issue, the lawyer of Vice President Leni Robredo said.
Robredo’s legal counsel made this pronouncement in their 13-page manifestation with the PET regarding the motion filed by the OSG on the matter.
“At no instance has OSG, any of its representatives and/or lawyers, attended and observed the ongoing revision, recount and re-appreciation of ballots,” said lawyer Romulo Macalintal.
Macalintal said the OSG had no basis when it concluded that the application of the 50-percent threshold percentage does not disenfranchise voters.
“Once more, in making this reckless conclusion, OSG has revealed to the Honorable Tribunal its lack of knowledge on the ongoing revision, recount and re-appreciation of ballots,” Macalintal stressed.
While Macalintal admitted that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) reminded voters to fully shade the oval beside the name of the candidates of their choice, he said there were voters who were not able to fully shade the ovals.
SC seeks Comelec comment on vote shading threshold
“In those instances where the ovals were not fully shaded but still met the 25-percent threshold percentage, the VCMs still read and counted the votes cast,” said Macalintal.
“Thus, to now disregard these valid votes previously read and counted by the VCMs will result to a massive disenfranchisement of voters,” he pointed out.
Robredo’s camp also slammed the OSG for disregarding the integrity of the automated election system (AES) and the results of the elections by applying a new rule.
Macalintal stressed that the 1987 Constitution has designated the Comelec as the body that will enforce laws and administer election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall.
“Otherwise, OSG is taking a dangerous position where the results of the elections will be changed by way of an election protest,” he said.