Week 65: September 25 – October 1, 2017
On 25 September 2017, BBM received a Motion from the COMELEC wherein it requested for additional time to comply with the Show Cause Order regarding its failure to inform the PET of post-election activities in Bucay, Abra.
On 27 September 2017, BBM received a Reply from the COMELEC regarding the Letter from the COMELEC – OFOV. According to the OFOV, they should not be held liable for the payment of storage fees because, were it not for the Precautionary Protection Order (PPO) issued by the PET, the overseas posts would have been able to transmit all the election paraphernalia to the Central Office.
It bears mentioning that in his Comment, BBM explained that since an election protest is a mere incident of an election, all necessary costs and expenses relating to the conduct of the elections should be shouldered by the COMELEC. “To rule otherwise will grossly violate the mandate of this Honorable Tribunal to achieve a just, expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of every election contest before the PET and effectively render nugatory the right to file an election protest.”
On 29 September 2017, BBM received a Motion from the COMELEC requesting for another extension of time to comply with the PET’s Show Cause Order.
After 65 weeks (or roughly 459 days), we are still waiting for the PET :
• to issue a Retrieval Order [per undertaking # 7 of 21]
Note that on 29 August 2017, the PET resolved to “Partially Grant [BBM’s] Motion for Retrieval only insofar as all precincts in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental are concerned.” [per item “C” of the Resolution]
• to begin the manual recounting of votes [per undertaking # 11 of 21]
We are also waiting for the COMELEC :
• to decrypt and print the ballot images in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental
• Note that on 29 August 2017, the PET resolved to “Partially Grant [BBM’s] Motion for Decryption and Printing of Ballot Images dated June 1, 2017 only insofar as all the precincts in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental are concerned, and Direct the COMELEC to inform the Tribunal of its recommended procedures, logistics, schedule, and estimated costs for the activity within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from receipt of this Resolution.” [per item “G” of the Resolution]