Week 110: August 6 - 12, 2018

On 6 August 2018, BBM filed an Extremely Urgent Motion to Inhibit Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa and enumerated the grounds as to why Justice Caguioa should immediately inhibit himself from participating in any of the proceedings relating to his election protest.

BBM emphasized that simple delicadeza should have prompted Caguioa to refrain from participating in the protest proceedings given his fraternal ties with former President Benigno S. Aquino, who had consistently attacked BBM and his family before, during and after his term as President. In addition, BBM provided the Tribunal with proof that Caguioa’s wife was and still is an avid supporter of Robredo, as evidenced by various screenshots of her Viber messages in her Ateneo group chat, which went viral and published by Radyo Inquirer.

(click here to see the 6 August 2018 Motion to Inhibit from BBM)

On 9 August 2018, BBM received a Notice from the PET dated 24 July 2018 which resolved to :

1. Confirm the Action to proceed with the revision and to merely reflect in the Revision Report that the Minutes of Voting (MOVs) were improvised, as stated in the Incident Report dated July 3, 2018 re: Table No. 32, to quote: “Allowed to proceed with revision but note in Revision Report that MOV is improvised (handwritten); Previous day's supervisor allowed revision to proceed;”

2. Note the Incident Report dated July, 4, 2018 (Re: Report of the Head Revisor of Table No. 2 that there were instances when the Revision Supervisor/s ordered the suspension of the revision on the ground that there is no MOV, Election Return (ER) and/or other election documents found inside the ballot box); and Direct the Revision Committee to continue with the revision even if (1) there is no MOV or ER inside the ballot box or (2) the MOV is improvised, absent any showing that the integrity of the ballot box and the ballots was compromised;

3. Note the Incident Report dated July 4, 2018 (Re: Observation that Several Head Revisors and Party Revisors Have Been Using Pens Not Issued By the Tribunal); Reiterate Rule 31(A)(1), PET Revisor's Guide for the Revision of Ballots under the Automated Election System, which strictly prohibits the bringing of personal belongings such as writing instruments inside the revision hall; and Direct the PET Security Personnel to strictly enforce the rules, otherwise, a repetition of the subject violation and other, similar acts shall be dealt with more severely;

4. Note the Incident Report dated July 4, 2018 re: Clustered Precinct No. 34 (Precincts 75B, 76A and 77A), Brgy. Dalid, Calinog, Iloilo, at Table No. 22, which reads “Head Revisor of Table No. 22 reported that only one plastic seal,  still intact, was found outside the ballot box while the other three plastic seals, already cut, were found inside the ballot box. Aside from one plastic seal, ballot box was sealed with packaging tape which was probably signed by BEI;” Approve the recommendation to “suspend the revision due to question on the integrity of the ballots as the ballot box could have been reopened after sealing it;” and Direct the PET Retrieval Team to inform the Tribunal, within ten (10) days from notice, if such fact as observed in the subject Incident Report has been reported by the Municipal Treasurer of Calinog, Iloilo, during the retrieval of the ballot boxes;

5. Note the Incident Report dated July 4, 2018 re: Clustered Precinct No. 38 (Precincts 0085A, 0085B and 0086A), Brgy. Garangan, Calinog, Iloilo, at Table No. 32, which reads “The Revision Committee #32 noted a discrepancy in the signature of the BEI Chairman in the ballots (one similar signature in all ballots) and in the MOV, the envelope containing the MOV, the ER, and the envelope containing the ER (one similar signature in all these documents);” and Direct the Revision Committee to (1) continue with the revision and (2) reflect these observations in their Revision Report;

6. Note the Incident Report dated July 9, 2018 re: Clustered Precinct No. 14 (Precincts 0028A, 0029A, 0029B and 0030A), Brgy. Bancal, Carles, Iloilo, at Table No. 3, which reads “Wet ballots that are clumped together. There appears to be mold on the ballots. No apparent or evident cracks on the ballot box;” and Approve the recommendation to stop revision because the ballots cannot be separated without damaging the ballots and use decrypted ballot images pursuant to Rule 74(c) of the PET Revisor's Guide; and

7. Note the Incident Report dated July 10, 2018 re: Clustered Precinct No. 42 (Precincts 89A, 89B and 90A), Brgy. Granada, Carles, Iloilo, at Table No. 5, which reads “The signatures of the BEI Chairman (Ramil M. Ignacio) on the ballots are glaringly different from those on the paper seals and the minutes of voting. There are also seven (7) ballots without the BEI Chairman's signature;” and Direct the Revision Committee to (1) continue with the revision and (2) reflect these observations in their Revision Report.

The PET further resolved to :

1. Note without Action Robredo’s Counter-Manifestation with Motion to Release CCTV Footage;

2. Note BBM’s Payment of Court Fine in the amount of Php 50,000.-;

3. Note Robredo’s Counter-Manifestation to the OSG’s Manifestation and Motion [in Lieu of Comment];

4. Note the Letter of the Municipal Treasurer of Garchitorena, Camarines Sur, in compliance with PET Resolution dated 24 April 2018;

5. Direct the :

i. Board of Election Inspectors of Brgy. Salvation, Garchitorena, Camarines Sur for Clustered Precincts 24, Precinct Nos. 0044A and 0044B, and the former Municipal Treasurer of Garchitorena, Camarines Sur, to explain why the ballots were wet or damaged within a non-extendible period of 10 days from notice; and

ii. PET Retrieval Team, through Atty. Alindogan, to inform the Tribunal of the Team's observations of the ballot box when it was retrieved, likewise within a non-extendible period of 10 days from notice.

6. Note the COMELEC’s Reply in compliance with PET Resolution dated 3 July 2018;

7. Lift the Preliminary Protection Order (PPO) on the Election Management System (EMS) servers;

8. Allow the COMELEC to exercise the first option, at the cost of the protestant;

9. Direct the COMELEC to maintain custody, and preserve and safeguard the integrity of the backed-up or cloned data;

10. Note the COMELEC Executive Director’s Letter dated 16 July 2018 and Grant the request of the Municipal Treasurer of San Antonio, Quezon, for authority to transfer the storage area of the ballot boxes used in the 2013 and 2016 elections from its present storage room inside the Municipal Building to the Evacuation Center in Brgy. Buliran, subject to the following conditions:

i. The Municipal Treasurer shall give the Tribunal and the parties prior notice of the date of the transfer; and

ii. The parties shall be allowed to observe the activity;

11.  Note without action the Letter from Cynthia Patag dated 18 July 2018, asking the Tribunal to uphold the 25% shading threshold;

12. Note BBM’s Compliance dated 19 July 2018, manifesting that he has paid the Court Fine amounting to Php 50,000.-;

13. Note the COMELEC’s Comment on the 25% shading threshold; and

14. Direct the COMELEC to Comment on BBM’s Strong Opposition (to the Use of Decrypted Ballot Images for the Judicial Revision and Recount of Ballots for the Pilot Protested Precincts) within a non-extendible period of five (5) days from notice.

(click here to see the 9 August 2018 Resolution from the PET)

After 110 weeks (or roughly 774 days) :

• The PET still has to complete the manual recount of votes from Camarines Sur.

** there are ballot boxes remaining from 365 clustered precincts at the HRET due to the election protest of Luis R. Villafuerte vs. Gabriel H. Bordado.

** there is 1 ballot boxes remaining from 1 clustered precinct at the COMELEC – RMAT from the municipality of Nabua.

• The PET has begun the manual recount of votes from Iloilo.
[per undertaking # 11 of 21]

After Camarines Sur & Iloilo, the remaining “pilot province” is Negros Oriental

- - - - -

The PET has yet to resolve the following matters :

1. Robredo’s Motion to Direct the Head Revisors to Apply the 25% threshold percentage in the revision, recount and re-appreciation of ballots

• In a Resolution dated 10 April 2018, the PET denied Robredo’s Ex Parte Motion.

(click here to see the 10 April 2018 Resolution from the PET)

• In a Resolution dated 24 April 2018, the PET required BBM and the COMELEC to comment on Robredo’s Urgent Motion for Reconsideration.

(click here to see the 24 April 2018 Resolution from the PET)

• On 2 May 2018, Robredo filed an Urgent Motion for Reconsideration.

(click here to see the 2 May 2018 Urgent Motion from Robredo)

• On 28 May 2018, BBM filed his Opposition to Robredo’s Motion

(click here to see the 28 May 2018 Opposition from BBM)

• On 6 July 2018, BBM received a Manifestation from the Office of the Solicitor General.

(click here to see the 6 July 2018 Manifestation from the OSG)

• In a Resolution dated 24 July 2018, the PET resolved to note the OSG’s Manifestation and Motion

(click here to see the 24 July 2018 Resolution from the PET)

• On 26 July 2018, BBM received a Comment from the COMELEC

(click here to see the 26 July 2018 Comment from the COMELEC)

2. Various incident reports regarding wet ballots, re-sealed ballot boxes and discrepancies in the physical count of ballots in Camarines Sur

• In several Resolutions, the PET :

> referred other matters to the the PET Commissioners.

(click here to see the 5 June 2018 Resolution from the PET)

(click here to see the 19 June 2018 Resolution from the PET)

(click here to see the 26 June 2018 Resolution from the PET)

(click here to see the 3 July 2018 Resolution from the PET)

3. COMELEC’s request to lift the Precautionary Protection Order (PPO) with respect to the Election Management System (EMS) Servers

• In a Resolution dated 17 April 2018, the PET required BBM and Robredo to comment on COMELEC’s request.

(click here to see the 15 May 2018 Resolution from the PET)

• On 25 May 2018, BBM filed his Opposition to the COMELEC’s request.

(click here to see the 25 May 2018 Opposition from BBM)

• On 20 July 2018, BBM received a Reply from the COMELEC.

(click here to see the 20 July 2018 Reply from the COMELEC)

• In a Resolution dated 24 July 2018, the PET resolved to lift the Precautionary Protection Order (PPO) on the Election Management System (EMS) servers.

(click here to see the 24 July 2018 Resolution from the PET)

• To date, Robredo has NOT yet filed any comment regarding the above issue.

4. BBM’s Third Cause of Action

• In a Resolution dated 29 August 2017, the PET directed BBM to submit a new list of witnesses for the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur and within five (5) days.

(click here to see the 29 August 2017 Resolution from the PET)

• On 11 September 2017, BBM filed his Compliance and submitted his list of witnesses.

(click here to see the 11 September 2017 Compliance from BBM)

• In a Resolution dated 19 September 2017, the PET required BBM to “STRICTLY COMPLY with the resolution dated August 29, 2017 directing him to identify his witnesses and the concerned clustered precincts subject of their testimonies within a FINAL and NON-EXTENDIBLE period of five (5) days from notice.”

> It is worth mentioning that on 11 September 2017, BBM had already submitted 171 names of potential wirtnesses to the PET.

(click here to see the 19 September 2017 Resolution from the PET)

• On 9 October 2017, BBM complied with the PET’s directive and submitted 7,356 names of witnesses for the provinces of BasilanLanao del Sur & Maguindanao.

(click here to see the 9 October 2017 Compliance from BBM)

• In a Resolution dated 7 November 2017, the PET “noted” BBM’s Compliance.

(click here to see the 24 November 2017 Resolution from the PET)