PET tells parties to comment on recount, nullification of votes in 3 BARMM provinces Toledo IV, file
PET tells parties to comment on recount, nullification of votes in 3 BARMM provinces
( - October 15, 2019 - 1:50pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:08 p.m.)  — The Presidential Electoral Tribunal on Tuesday ordered Vice President Leni Robredo and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos to comment on issues surrounding the electoral protest pending before it.

Brian Keith Hosaka, Supreme Court spokesperson, said "the Tribunal has decided to release to the parties the report on the revision and appreciation of ballots in the three pilot provinces, and for them to comment thereon."

They have also been ordered to comment on Marcos' motion to void results in three provinces in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

In his poll protest, the former senator wanted the votes from Maguindanao, Basilan and Lanao del Sur nullified as he claimed that there was “widespread presence of terrorism, violence, threats, coercion, force and intimidation” in the areas in the 2016 national elections.

He also alleged “traditional” modes of cheating such as vote-buying.

The provinces were part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao when Marcos filed his protest.

To note, this process is a separate action from the vote recount in Marcos’ pilot provinces—Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental—that is part of the second cause of action in the poll protest.

The parties have 20 days from receipt of the tribunal's order to file their comments.

The ruling cannot be considered a victory for either party, with Hosaka saying that the court did not resolve either of the two causes of action in Marcos' protest.

"So we would just wait for the comments to be submitted by the parties as well as the memoranda being required to be submitted on the third cause of action," he said.

Supporters of either party had trooped to the Supreme Court to wait for the court's resolution on the recounts in three pilot provinces that Marcos chose.

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