Rappler – Marcos again urges SC to speed up poll protest

By Patty Pasion | Rappler 

The camp of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr again urged the Supreme Court (SC) to expedite the process of his election protest.

Marcos’ lawyer George Garcia filed a 7-page motion before the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), last Thursday, June 1.

This most recent motion asks the PET to order the decryption and printing of the ballot images from the SD cards used in the 36,465 clustered precincts contested in Marcos’ protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

This covers the provinces of Cebu, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Masbate, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon, Iloilo, Bohol, Quezon, Batangas, Western Samar, Misamis Oriental, Camarines Sur, Palawan, Albay, Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Occidental, Pangasinan, and Isabela; plus Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Zamboanga City, and the 2nd District of Northern Samar.

The procedure, Garcia said, should be conducted by the Election Records and Statistics Department (ERSD) of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Garcia explained that the procedure will “assist in the preparation for the recount proceedings and the presentation of evidence for the protest.”

He noted, however, that this specific motion is without prejudice to the judicial review of the election paraphernalia used in May last year. The review is part of the Marcos camp’s 3rd cause of action in relation to the data found in the SD cards.

The Marcos camp earlier questioned the data found in the supposedly unused SD cards of the vote-counting machines, saying the presence of data proves election fraud. But Robredo’s lawyer Romulo Macalintal argued that the data cannot prove anything since its nature has yet to be determined.

Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez said that if approved, their motion will ensure the speedier resolution of the election protest, which was filed almost a year ago.

“Once the recount starts and with the printed ballot images on hand, we can immediately compare the images in relation to the result per clustered precinct and the actual ballots in the contested provinces,” said Rodriguez.

The motion comes over two weeks ahead of the scheduled preliminary conference on June 21.

Last May, the Marcos camp also asked the PET to assign 3 hearing officers to hear the main issues of his protest to expedite the proceedings.

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