Marcos camp says ‘no turning back’ in filing electoral protest before PET

Marcos camp says ‘no turning back’ in filing electoral protest before PET

MANILA — The camp of losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos said over the weekend “there is no turning back” in filing electoral protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

Marcos campaign adviser and ABAKADA Party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz said the case will be filed on June 27, three days before the next government officials take their oath of office.

Marcos lost to his closest rival, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo by more than 200,000 votes.

The petitioner suspects that he is a victim of adding and shaving operation when his more than one million votes “vanished” and his lead was overtaken during the wee hours of the tabulation.

“We will ask the PET to allow us exercise systems audit to ferret the truth,” Dela Cruz said.

This was after Smartmatic executive Marlon Garcia performed an alleged unauthorized change of script in the Commission on Elections (Comelec)’s transparency server.

Last Friday, the Manila Prosecutor’s Office began its preliminary investigation on the case filed by Marcos against Smartmatic executives and Comelec Information Technology (IT) personnel for alleged violation of the Cybercrime Law.

Respondents to the case Smartmatic Executives Garcia and Eddie Moreno as well as its project director Neil Baniqued appeared before Prosecutor Rector Macapagal and submitted their counter-affidavits.

However, the Smartmatic counsel told the prosecutor that Mauricio Herrera could not appear because the respondent has flown back to Panama where he is residing.

Also present to submit their counter-affidavits were respondents from the Comelec IT department, Rui Penialba, Nelson Herrera and Francis May Gonzales.

Both the complainant and respondents were advised to come back on July 4 for the continuation of the investigation. Sammy Martin / PNA /