Week 10: September 5 – 11, 2016
On 7 September 2016, Robredo filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion asking the High Tribunal to consider BBM as having waived his right to file his Answer to her Counter-Protest. According to her, BBM failed to file his Answer within ten (10) days from receipt of her Counter-Protest.
According to Robredo, the 10 day period should be counted from 16 August 2016 — which was the date BBM procured the advance copy of her Answer with Counter-Protest (without the annexes) instead of being counted from 30 August 2016 — which was the date BBM procured the official copy of her Answer with Counter-Protest (with the annexes).
On 9 September 2016, BBM filed a Motion and formally requested the PET to strike out and/or expunge Robredo’s Answer with Counter-Protest for being filed out of time. It will be recalled that Robredo filed her Answer with Counter-Protest on 15 August 2016 – or 3 days after the 12 August 2016 deadline.
In his Answer Ad Cautelam to the Counter-Protest, BBM effectively disputed the allegations contained in Robredo’s Answer with Counter-Protest. He asked the PET to ignore these delaying tactics and proceed with the conduct of the Preliminary Conference in accordance with Rule 29 of the 2010 PET Rules.
On 5 September 2016, BBM filed his Comment to the COMELEC’s proposed plan to strip the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) and Consolidation Canvassing System (CCS) laptop units of their election data. He opposed the proposed stripping activity and said that this would violate the PET’s clear and express directive to the poll body to preserve all election materials used in the last polls. BBM informed the PET that he had written to the COMELEC 4 times* [May 31, June 6, June 16, July 14] requesting for a forensic audit of the VCMs and CCS laptop units used during the May 2016 elections and yet his formal requests fell on deaf ears. Instead of allowing the audit, the COMELEC is now seeking the PET’s permission to strip the abovementioned election-related information.