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The Manila Times - SC: No media coverage for vice presidential poll recount

News & Interviews
26 March 2018

By Llanesca T. Panti | The Manila Times

THE recount for the 2016 vice presidential race won’t be open to media based on a Supreme Court resolution issued on March 20, a copy of which was obtained by The Manila Times on Monday.

“The Tribunal holds that the recount is not open for coverage as only the Tribunal’s representatives, the parties and their representatives are allowed inside the revision area following the 2018 PET Guidelines,” said the high court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

The recount stemmed from a poll protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. against the results of the election that showed then Congresswoman Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to be the winner.

The resolution also said that the revision of ballots, meaning the manual recount, would begin on April 2.

The recount will involve three pilot provinces chosen by Marcos as “best exemplifying poll fraud” in accordance with PET rules: Camarines Sur, Negros Oriential and Iloilo — all of which were known Robredo bailiwicks.

There are 40 revision teams for the recount or less than the PET’s target of 50. Despite failing to meet its target, the PET said in its resolution that the recount would push through.

Robredo defeated Marcos by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 polls.

Marcos accused Robredo of allegedly benefiting from the massive poll fraud, but the Vice President maintained that she won fair and square, and that the evidence would prove her right.