Freeman Region

For Bongbong protest vs Leni PET gets 1,284 ballot boxes from Negros Oriental

Juancho R. Gallarde - The Freeman

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — Retrieval of a total of 1,284 ballot boxes from different municipalities and cities in Negros Oriental was carried out by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal of the Supreme Court in connection with the electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.


Dumaguete City Election Officer Gildu Agoncillo disclosed that Negros Oriental is one of 20-protested provinces by a losing candidate for vice president in the 2016 elections.

Records will show that in Negros Oriental, then vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos lost heavily to Vice President Leni Robredo who garnered 255,000 votes as against the 66,000 votes of Marcos, the biggest difference in terms of percentage throughout the country.

It is for this reason that, of the three pilot provinces, Negros Oriental is third on the list, together with Camarines Sur and Iloilo, including five cities.

Recount of ballot boxes from 17 other provinces will depend on the results of the recount of the pilot provinces.

In the event of a dismissal of the complaint, there is no need to proceed with the recount of protested ballot boxes from the 17 provinces, according to lawyer Emil Marañon, legal counsel of Robredo, who was in Dumaguete City to observe the retrieval operation that started over the weekend until yesterday.

According to Marañon, a recount of the protested ballot boxes in Camarines Sur was completed, ongoing in Iloilo, to be followed by a recount of the protested ballot boxes from Negros Oriental, where Marcos has alleged of widespread cheating and fraud during the 2016 elections.

Since 2GO Shipping is the official carrier, the 1,284 ballot boxes from Negros Oriental will be loaded as soon the inter-island vessel arrive next week and will leave for Manila, where these will be picked up at the port and transported to the Supreme Court warehouse in Ermita for safeguarding.

Robredo’s lawyer said he is confident that the results of the recount will match with the results on election day up to the last vote, provided the correct threshold is being used.

Marañon noted that results in electoral protests in previous elections in 2010, 2013, and even 2016 showed no discrepancy between the results of the recount and the results on election day because he said the machine was "so accurate."

When interviewed in Dumaguete yesterday, he said discrepancies were noted in Camarines Sur because the Supreme Court has applied a different standard, instead of following the threshold set by the Comelec.

Robredo’s camp is confident the recount will prove that Negrenses “ay hindi mandaraya because this is what Marcos is tying to say to the people of Negros Oriental.”

Marañon considered the statement an insult to the people of this province who voted for Robredo. He further said it is in Negros Oriental that Robredo has established a very wide margin against Marcos and that the latter just could not accept defeat.

Dumaguete City Treasurer Cristina Merced was on hand during the retrieval of the 122 ballot boxes from Dumaguete, even as some minor issues were noted on the conditions of the boxes.

Robredo’s camp filed a formal motion before the Supreme Court — regarding what happened on the first and second day of the retrieval operations of the ballot boxes in Negros Oriental — to be transparent with the things that transpired during the transport and storage of the ballot boxes.

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