SC denies Leniâs motion to resolve Marcosâ poll protest
In an eight-page resolution, the PET said it denied Robredo’s Urgent Motion to Immediately Resolve all Pending Incidents dated June 11 on the grounds that her “motion is likewise premature.”

SC denies Leni’s motion to resolve Marcos’ poll protest

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - July 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), recently denied the motion of Vice President Leni Robredo calling for the tribunal to resolve the three-year-old electoral protest filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

In an eight-page resolution, the PET said it denied Robredo’s Urgent Motion to Immediately Resolve all Pending Incidents dated June 11 on the grounds that her “motion is likewise premature.”

The Tribunal has yet to complete the proceedings following Rule 65 of the 2010 PET Rules, which entails judicial recount, revision and appreciation of the votes cast in the petitioner’s pilot provinces, according to PET Clerk of the Tribunal Edgar Aricheta.

“The figures submitted by Robredo are merely speculative,” Aricheta said, adding that the Vice President assumed that all her claims would be accepted by the PET.

“This premise is fundamentally flawed as the Tribunal is still in the process of appreciation of the revised ballots and ruling on the respective objections and claims made by the parties thereon. The Tribunal’s final tally of votes after recount and appreciation has yet to be completed and released. Thus, the Court resolves to deny (Robredo’s) motion on the ground of prematurity,” he said.

In her motion, Robredo presented her own computation of the total national votes for her and Marcos after “revision, recount and reapplication” and claimed that her victory in the 2016 vice presidential race has been confirmed.

Robredo’s camp had previously claimed that the recount of votes in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental were completed last March and showed that the number of votes for her even increased by over 15,000.

Robredo was proclaimed as vice president in 2016 after winning with a margin of 263,473 votes against Marcos. Her camp revealed that after the recount on votes from the three provinces, the lead went up to 279,215 or an additional margin of 15,742 votes.

In the resolution, the PET had also deferred action on Marcos’ Extremely Urgent Manifestation of Grave Concern with Omnibus Motion dated Dec. 10, 2018 and Consolidated Reply with Urgent Motion to Resolve Protestant’s Omnibus Motion dated March 22, 2019 until after the Tribunal’s initial determination of the grounds for protest under Rule 65 of the 2010 PET Rules.

The Omnibus Motion filed by Marcos mentioned that in the election protest filed by Abdusakur Tan against Mujiv Hataman before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Tan reportedly informed him that the Voter’s Identification Division of the Comelec-Election Records and Statistics Department conducted a technical examination of the signatures and thumbprints appearing in the Voter’s Registration Records (VRRs) and compared them to those in the Election Day Computerized Voter’s List of 508 established precincts in Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao.

The technical examination revealed that 40,528 signatures and 3,295 thumbprints in the 508 established precincts allegedly did not match the original and genuine signatures and thumbprints in the VRRs in the three provinces.

Aricheta also said the PET instructed the Comelec and the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) of Clustered Precincts (CP) no. 34 in Barangay Niño Jesus, Bato, Camarines Sur; CP no. 13 in Barangay Haring, Canaman, Camarines Sur; CP no. 27 in Barangay Cubay, San Joaquin, Iloilo; CP no. 118 in Tabuco, Naga City, Camarines Sur and CP no. 68 in Santiago, Iriga City, Camarines Sur to explain and clarify within a non-extendible period of 10 days from notice the circumstances regarding the absence of ballot images in the clustered precincts in accordance with this resolution.

The poll body should also submit a comment on Marcos’ consolidated reply, particularly on the non-chronological sequencing of the ballot images and the alleged excess ballot images within a non-extendible period of 10 days from notice.

Robredo’s camp yesterday expressed confidence that they will win the electoral protest filed against her by Marcos despite the denial of her appeal.

Robredo’s lawyer Ma. Bernadette Sardillo said they are disappointed but respect the decision of the SC.  – With Janvic Mateo

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