The Philippine Star - Marcos asks PET to junk Robredo appeal vs 50% vote threshold

By Kristine Joy Patag | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday asked the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to apply the 50-percent threshold in determining the validity of votes in the ongoing vice presidential race recount.

Marcos personally filed a 13-page comment/opposition, asking the tribunal to deny Vice President Leni Robredo’s motion for reconsideration urging the PET to apply the 25-percent—instead of 50-percent—threshold in the ongoing recount.

Marcos insisted there is “no categorical declaration in the Comelec Resolution No. 16-0600 that the 25% shading threshold was adopted by the Comelec En Banc in determining the valid votes during the judicial recount and revision of ballots in an election protest.”

The said Comelec resolution was cited by Robredo in her appeal. She argued that failure to apply the 25-percent threshold would disenfranchise voters.

The Commission on Elections was also ordered to file its comment on the issue. The Office of the Solicitor General, which represents government agencies on cases, was asked by groups to back Robredo’s arguments.

Marcos added that while it was true that a Comelec resolution was issued removing the 50-percent threshold, “it did not impose a new threshold on the oval shading.”

He stressed: “It would be the height of injustice if the rules on the appreciation of ballots, specifically with regard to the shading threshold, would be amended in the middle of recount/revision proceedings.”

Robredo earlier said that their camp has observed that there was a decrease in her votes from Camarines Sur in the recount.

Part of the said appeal noted that Robredo received 358 votes in Barangay Laganac, Balatan, Camarines Sur. Upon the application of the 50-percent threshold, a physical recount of the ballots yielded 346 votes for the vice president. Votes for Marcos did not change in the tally.

The PET has yet to issue a statement or confirm reports on the alleged decrease of votes for Robredo.

The tribunal has also issued a stern warning to the two camps on their public remarks about the ongoing case. The PET reminded both Robredo and Marcos to follow the sub judice rule or risk of being cited in contempt by the court.

Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016, claiming that the camp of Robredo committed electoral fraud in the May 2016 national polls.

In his protest, the son of the late dictator contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities. He sought for a recount in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental covering a total of 5,418 clustered precincts.