By Raymund Antonio
Her long wait is nearly over.
Vice President Leni Robredo felt relieved that the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), will begin next week the initial ballot revision for the electoral protest she is facing.
Speaking to reporters in Cebu City, where she led the launch of the Istorya ng Pag-asa Gallery, Robredo said she has been waiting for the start of the manual recount of votes.
“Relief ito para sa amin. Matagal na naming hinihintay na magsimula na iyong recount, Kasi ang pakiramdam nga namin, nagkakaroon lang ng pagkakataon na gamitin iyong isyung ito para i-muddle kung ano iyong katotohanan,” she said.
(This is a relief for us. We have waited for the long time for the recount to start because we feel there will be an opportunity for the issue being used to muddle the truth.)
The sentiments of Robredo are understandable, especially (inasmuch as) she and the Liberal Party, which she chairs, have been accused of cheating in the 2016 elections. She defeated former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. by just 263,473 votes.
The Vice President wants the PET to settle once and for all the election case to put to rest the long drawn-out dispute that resulted from the last vice presidential race.
Robredo, a former housing chief, declined to further comment because of the gag order from the SC that barred both camps to discuss publicly the merits of the case.
Robredo’s lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Beng Sardillo met with their 60 revisors Wednesday in preparation of the actual recount of ballots.
Fifty of these revisors will be part of the three-member revision committees formed by PET that will work on the initial recount while the rest are alternate revisors.
The PET has 40 revision committees for the April 2 recount that will take place at the gymnasium of the SC-Court of Appeals parking building in Padre Faura in Manila.
A committee is composed of a head revisor hired by PET and one representative each from the Robredo and Marcos camps.
There will be 10 more revision committees once the hiring of the additional head revisors is complete.
They will review a total of 5,418 ballot boxes from every clustered polling precinct in the three pilot provinces– Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental – that Marcos chose for the initial ballot recount