Inquirer.net – WHAT WENT BEFORE: The 2016 vice presidential race

By Inquirer.net

Vice President Leni Robredo edged out former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. by 263,473 votes in the May 9, 2016 elections.

Robredo, who was proclaimed Vice President on May 30, won with 14,418,817 votes. Marcos got 14,155,344.

On June 29, 2016, Marcos filed an electoral protest in the Supreme Court, which acts as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

Despite Marcos’ attempt to stop her inauguration, Robredo took her oath of office the next day.

In his petition, Marcos said the votes for Robredo were “products of electoral frauds, anomalies and irregularities.”

His votes “were significantly reduced, manipulated and altered” to make it appear that he placed behind Robredo in the race, he said.

Marcos challenged the results in 132,446 polling precincts. Robredo countered with a protest covering 31,278 precincts.

Marcos was asked to pay P66.2 million in cash deposit for his protest while Robredo was ordered to put up P15.5 million for her counterprotest.

In August 2016, Robredo asked the PET to dismiss Marcos’ election protest for utter lack of merit. She also said the PET lacked jurisdiction over the grounds relied upon by Marcos.

On Jan. 24, 2017, the PET said the complaint of Marcos was sufficient in form and substance and was “beyond dispute,” paving the way for a formal hearing.

On June 16, 2017, Marcos asked the PET to conduct a vote recount in Camarines Sur, home province of Robredo, and in Iloilo and Negros Oriental, where the Vice President posted landslide wins.

On July 11, 2017, in a closed-door preliminary conference, the PET ordered the parties to submit their written comments on the legal issues that were discussed, including logistical concerns of some justices.

Last September, the PET jettisoned Marcos’ attempt to void Robredo’s proclamation.

It also directed Marcos to submit a list of witnesses—three per clustered precinct in the three pilot provinces that the electoral body had identified.

This means Marcos will have to produce some 8,100 witnesses from about 2,700 clustered precincts from Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental provinces.

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