Marcos fishing for evidence on poll protest — VP Robredo


MANILA — The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday said that the Preliminary Conference Brief (PCB) submitted by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos before the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) that clearly exposed that he was merely fishing for evidence and not sure how he wants to proceed with his protest.

In a recent Supplement to the Motion for Reconsideration Pro Tanto, Robredo’s lawyer Romulo Macalintal pointed out that the PET Rules required Marcos and Robredo to name not more than three provinces best exemplifying the electoral frauds and irregularities alleged in the protest and the counter-protest.

Macalintal said that “Marcos named the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental; and yet he made a reservation to change any of these provinces.”

“Such reservation is a clear manifestation that Marcos is merely fishing for evidence and not sure of his election protest. He could not establish which 3 provinces out of the 30 provinces and highly urbanized cities he protested could demonstrate his much talked about electoral frauds and irregularities,” Macalintal said in a statement.

Macalintal stressed that “Marcos is even prolonging his protest since he even asked for the technical and forensic examination of ALL the ballots, ballot images, voter’s receipts, names of voters in the voting list and Election Day Certified List of Voters (EDCVL) from the provinces of Basilan, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.”

“For the information of the entire Filipino people, such technical and forensic examination involves 3,235,000 documents from said provinces as it would involve the 647,000 official ballots, and the corresponding 647,000 ballot images, 647,000 voter’s receipts, 647,000 names from the list of voters, and 647,000 names from the EDCVL”, Macalintal emphasized.

“I hope Marcos will not now claim that we are delaying this case. It is as clear as the sunlight that the thrust to prove his case is merely to fish for evidence by asking for recount of ballots and technical examination thereof. So much so that if he could not prove his case during the recount of ballots, he would now rely on the results of the technical examination. And this is not allowed under existing jurisprudence because once a protestant asked for recount, he could not disregard the results and seek other strategy,” Macalintal said

Macalintal also said that it is so incredible for Marcos’ reservation “to ask for the present the more than 18 million voters and thousands of members of the board of election inspectors from his protested 39,221 clustered precincts to identify their respective paper ballots and/or ballot images.”

“This is clearly incredible as it would take years to identify said ballots and ballot images by said registered voters,” Macalintal added.

Lastly, Macalintal said that Marcos asked the PET to allow him to present all the Provincial Election Supervisors of the provinces he protested and the municipalities and cities consisting these provinces.

“Such move clearly shows the incredible position of Marcos because these Comelec officials have no competence and ability to identify said election documents and the equipment used during said election,” Macalintal said.

The Tribunal has set the preliminary conference on the electoral and counter-electoral protest on July 11 at 2 p.m.

Marcos earlier said he decided to file the electoral protest due to the series of frauds, anomalies and irregularities that marred the May 9 elections and that such activities made sure he would lose to Robredo, the vice presidential candidate of the administration’s Liberal Party.

Robredo won the 2016 vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos who got 14,155,344 votes. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/Monica Guevarra (OJT)/