The Supreme Court has been asked to look into an “outing’ supposedly sponsored by Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo for one of her revisors and more than 20 of the SC’s head revisors at a resort in Pansol in Calamba City, Laguna.
Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. asked the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to investigate the matter in a 10-page manifestation of grave concern with extremely urgent motion to investigate filed on Monday as he expressed dismay with the apparent conspiracy to delay his election protest against the Vice President.
Marcos said his camp recently discovered that at least 24 revisors and officers of the electoral tribunal fraternized with the revisor of Robredo at a resort in Pansol several weeks ago.
Marcos’ election lawyer, George Garcia, told The Manila Times that their complaint was based on pictures they had gathered about the party.
“Protestant Marcos received information that on Sunday, 22 June 2018, there was an ‘outing’ at ‘3J’s Resort’ located at Lot 11, Barangay Pansol, Calamba City, Laguna, which was attended by a party revisor for the protestee, Maria Leonor “Leni Daang Matuwid” G. Robredo ["Robredo”] TOGETHER with twenty-four (24) head revisors, alternate head revisor, appraiser, ballot box custodians/handlers and chief tabulator of this honorable tribunal,” Garcia said.
He added that they learned about the outing through the Facebook account of the tribunal’s head revisor Maria Katrina (Che-Che) Rosales when she posted photos of the “Pansol outing” on June 24.
The pictures showed the 24 PET personnel together with Osmundo “Ritchie” Abuyuan, the revisor of Robredo.
Also seen in the pictures were Rosales; Reycard Castro (PET chief tabulator); Hazel Magsipoc, Mohammad Disomangcop, Jennifer Pablo, Michaer Rebosura, Christine Enriquez, Noriesel Lalamunan, Irene Canada, Princess Bonetivo, Hannah Pauline Medrano (all PET head revisors); Julius Tumalad (PET alternate head revisor); Ellaine Francisco (PET appraiser); Keno Moraleda (PET head ballot custodian); and Martin Santos, Edwin Roque, Bryan Puntero, Elijah Mikaelson, Mel Darien Buensalido and Rogene Agudelo (all PET ballot box custodians).
The post was deleted on July 2, a move that the Marcos camp said is an apparent effort to rectify Rosales’ mistake of publicly posting the incriminating photos of their ‘Pansol outing.”
The actions of the PET personnel constitute improper and unethical behavior, which affects the integrity of the ongoing election protest and the honor and dignity of the judiciary as an institution, the Marcos camp said.
Garcia said the “Pansol outing” would imply that Robredo’s camp had already “infiltrated and curried favor with these PET personnel in order to manipulate, influence and control the revision proceedings and maneuver the results in her favor.”
The Marcos camp said the head revisors are in charge of determining condition of ballots inside boxes that are subject of recount, hence, their neutrality is needed.
Garcia called on the PET to impose sanctions on the PET revisors and Robredo’s revisor.
In his poll protest, Marcos assailed election results in 39,221 clustered precincts. Based on Commission on Elections data, the 39,221 clustered precincts are composed of 132,446 precincts.
Marcos, who lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 elections, has accused her of massive electoral fraud, which includes pre-shading of ballots, pre-loading of Secure Digital cards, misreading of ballots, malfunctioning vote counting machines or VCMs and an “abnormally high” unaccounted votes/undervotes for the position of Vice President.
Robredo’s camp shrugged off accusations of impropriety in connection with the Pansol outing.
Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, the lead counsel of the Vice President, noted that the outing was organized by the PET head revisors and the invitation was extended both to the Marcos and Robredo camps.
“The PET head revisors should even be lauded for this move considering the growing tensions during the revision proceedings,” Macalintal said.