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Robredo camp to PET: Marcos' protest lacks proof

"The prospect of defeat is a reality that all political candidates who stand for election must learn to accept—for as the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos was quoted to have said, 'nobody is impervious to misfortune.'" Vice President Leni Robredo said in a statement in response to the election protest of former Sen. Bongbong Marcos. Michael Varcas, File

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo asked the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to dismiss the protest filed against her by former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

The Robredo camp cited lack of merit and lack of jurisdiction of the PET over the grounds alleged in Marcos' election protest.

In a 536-page answer, lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Maria Bernadette Sardillo, cited three parts in the former senator's protest that were not proper grounds for an election protest.

READ: Bongbong Marcos files protest vs Leni's victory

The Marcos camp filed a complaint based on the action of the Commission of the Elections (Comelec) on the lease of the Vote Counting Machines from Smartmatic.

For the first part, the Robredo camp argued that an election protest is a contest between two candidates and not between the Comelec and Smartmatic.

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The defeated vice presidential candidate also alleged election fraud and irregularities and asked for the "annulment of the results of elections in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan."

For the second part, the vice president's camp asked the tribunal to discard this cause of action.

The Robredo camp pointed out that there was "no evidence nor allegation in Marcos’ protest that show her direct or indirect participation in any of the alleged incidents of election fraud."

At least 50 percent of the ballots cast or 50 percent of municipalities must be totally affected to sought the annulment of votes in precincts.

Marcos' protest only cited four municipalities in Lanao del Sur, one municipality in Maguindanao and four municipalities in Basilan or 10 percent of the 88 municipalities allegedly affected by irregularities.

"Surely, this does not comply with the 50 percent affected-ballot requirement laid down by the SC to justify the annulment of the results of the election," Robredo's camp stated.

The Robredo camp also denied the claim of Marcos that changes in the Comelec's transparency server changed the results of the May 9 elections.

"The changing of the source code for the Comelec’s transparency server was not a fraudulent act or irregularity that affected the results of the May 2016 elections for Vice-President.  The Comelec already explained that the source code changes did not affect the data collected by the transparency server," Robredo's camp said.

The vice president stressed that the Congress, acting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), proclaimed her as vice president of the Philippines based on the date transmitted by canvassing laptops of various provincial boards of canvassers.

Robredo added that the NBOC did not use date collected from the transparency server in canvassing votes for president and vice president.

"The problem with Marcos is that he did not attend any of the review of the source code conducted by the Comelec despite notice and invitation by the Comelec," Robredo said.

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