Week 68: October 16 – 22, 2017
On 19 October 2017, BBM sent a Letter to the COMELEC which contained the list of his duly authorized representatives for the Decryption and Printing of Secure Digital (SD) Cards and Printing of Ballot Images, Election Returns and Audit Logs which will commence on Monday, 23 October 2017, Monday, 9:00 a.m. at the Project Management Office (PMO) of the COMELEC in Intramuros, Manila.
On 19 October 2017, BBM received a Notice from the PET wherein it resolved to:
1. Lift the Precautionary Protection Order (PPO) with respect to the 45,751 clustered precincts, which were covered by BBM’s First Cause of Action. The PET stated that “there is no more purpose in further preserving the ballot boxes and other clustered precincts” of these clustered precincts since they no longer form part of the Protest and Counter-Protest.
2. Deny the COMELEC’s request for payment of storage fees and other necessary expenses incurred by the overseas posts. The PET ruled that “there is nothing in the PPO that prohibited the physical transfer of the election materials and paraphernalia; the COMELEC was merely required to preserve and safeguard their integrity” and
3. Direct the COMELEC to provide certain information relating to the decryption and printing process;
The Tribunal further resolved to:
1. Grant the COMELEC’s third Motion for additional time to comply with the PET’s Show Cause Order;
2. Note the COMELEC’s Compliance wherein it furnished Robredo with a copy of its Manifestation dated 25 May 2017;
3. Grant the request of COMELEC for Decryption and Printing of Ballot Images on 23 October 2017 at 9:00 a.m., without prejudice to COMELEC’s providing the PET with the requested information on the Decryption and Printing process;
4. Grant the request of COMELEC to continue the proceedings in various election cases; and
5. Note the report from the Exploratory Mission / Retrieval Team and Grant their requests for :
i. the issuance of an Authority to Travel for 4 members of the team to travel to Camarines Sur on October 16 to 20, 2017 or October 23 to 27, 2017; and
ii. approval of expenses for the exploratory mission amounting to Php 104,585.80, which shall be chargeable to BBM’s cash deposit.
On 20 October 2017, BBM received a Comment from Robredo wherein she opposed BBM’s Partial Motion for Reconsideration for Technical Examination. Robredo said that BBM should not be allowed to add three (3) more provinces and circumvent the Rules”. Robredo also said that “to indulge protestant Marcos will involve unnecessary expense and time on the parties and the Honorable Tribunal.”
In his Motion for Reconsideration, BBM explained that the two causes of action are the separate and distinct from each other :
• the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo & Negros Oriental involve the recounting of votes because the ballots were not counted properly. Hence, the revisors need to examine each and every BALLOT to make sure that the votes cast reflect the true will of the electorate; while
• the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur & Maguindanao involve the technical examination of the voter’s signatures because of the existence of fake voters; Hence, the revisors need to examine each and every SIGNATURE in the Voter’s List to make sure that the person who casted his vote was the actual voter and not someone else.
• For instance, if one were to compare the SIGNATURES appearing in the document below – which incidentally came from the COMELEC’s own records in Basilan — one would instantly notice that none of the signatures match. If the signatures don’t match, then obviously the person who supposedly casted his vote was NOT the actual registered voter in that precinct.
Since BBM is willing to shoulder the administrative costs for the said technical examination, why would Robredo want to oppose the Motion?
On 20 October 2017, BBM received a Motion from Robredo requesting that the SET allow her to send representatives to observe the s revision and re-apreciation of ballots in the Senatorial election protest of Tolentino vs. De Lima.
On 20 October 2017, BBM filed a Manifestation with the PET saying that he paid the decryption fee Php 2,974,075.00 per the Order of Payment issued by the COMELEC. This amount represents the costs and expenses for the conduct of the decryption and printing of ballot images, election returns and audit logs for all the protested clustered precincts of his 3 pilot provinces, namely : Camarines Sur, Iloilo & Negros Oriental.
After 68 weeks (or roughly 480 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 for Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental [per undertaking # 11 of 21]
• to resolve our Motion for Reconsideration for the technical examination of the signatures appearing in the Election Day Computerized Voters List [EDCVL] as against the signatures appearing on the Voters Registration Record [VRRs] in connection with the annulment of votes in Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.