On October 16, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal decided to release to the parties of Vice President Leni Robredo and former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. the report on the revision and appreciation of ballots in the three pilot provinces, and for them to comment thereon.
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas
Retired chief justice says PET's latest action on poll protest 'prudent'
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - October 16, 2019 - 4:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, wanted to hear from both parties involved in the high-stakes vice presidential electoral protest before it rules, retired Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said.

In an interview with GMA’s “Balitanghali” Wednesday, Panganiban said that the tribunal’s ruling was “prudent,” as "there are a lot of issues that need to be cleared first, listen to both parties before making a decision."

It has been more than a month since Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, member-in-charge of the case, submitted his report on the initial recount but the SC on October 15 only ruled to release to the parties a copy of the said report.

The tribunal also ordered the parties of Vice President Leni Robredo and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to file its comment on the said report, and on the latter’s motion to conduct technical examination into three provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

This is so there would be “no more questions on due process,” the retired chief justice further explained.

RELATED: Macalintal: Marcos bid to examine 3 new provinces an expedition to 'fish for evidence'

Rule 65 of PET

Pangiban said that the PET is resolving whether it should proceed with Marcos’ third cause of action—technical examination of three Mindanao provinces—that is a separate action from the initial recount.

Robredo’s lawyers are contesting this, as they raised that Rule 65 of the PET states that if the protestant fails “to make out his case,” in the recount in the pilot provinces, “the protest may forthwith be dismissed.”

A source told Philstar.com that Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio dissented from the majority as he believed that the case should have been dismissed because Marcos failed to make a substantial recovery in the initial recount.

The retired chief justice said that if the PET decides to just follow Rule 65 and not look into Marcos’ third cause of action, Robredo may win if it is true that she gained 15,000 votes in the recount.

EXPLAINER: What is PET Rule 65 and why are Robredo's lawyers bringing it up?

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Robredo’s counsel, insisted that the vice president gained 15,000 more votes after the recount in the three pilot provinces. He, however, admitted that this was based on the report of their own revisors, and the tribunal has yet to release official results of the revision process.

“Now, if the SC says, ‘let’s let look into the three provinces contested, then it will take a time because they will examine it first. Marcos will not win yet because they will have to look at it first,” Panganiban explained in Filipino.

BONGBONG MARCOS LENI ROBREDO POLL PROTEST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL SUPREME COURT
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