By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang has welcomed the start of the manual recount and revision of ballots as part of the protest filed by former senator Bongbong Marcos against his rival Vice President Leni Robredo.
The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) started its manual recount and revision of ballots in three provinces identified by Marcos this morning.
Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said during today’s Palace press briefing that the recount is a step to finally resolve the issue.
“Well, the Palace welcomes the recount para ma-settle na yang long-festering dispute na ‘yan (so that that long-festering dispute can finally be settled),” Guevarra said.
“This is a judicial matter. This is before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal already, so we leave it to the co-equal branch to handle them,” he added.
In February this year, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that President Duterte is keeping his hands off the issue, noting that the high court would be impartial in handling the protest.
“Ang Presidente po kasi ay isang abogado at alam niya na mayroon tayong tinatawag na separation of powers (The President is a lawyer who knows the so-called separation of powers),” Roque told reporters in Laoag, Ilocos Norte in February).
“So ang Presidente po hands off naman kapag hindi niya jurisdiction. Ito po ay katungkulan ng Korte Suprema at inaasahan naman niyan ng Korte Suprema na gagawing lahat para maresolba itong election protest na ito (The President is keeping his hands off issues not under his jurisdiction. This is therefore the Supreme Court and he is expecting them to do everything to resolve this protest),” he added.
Based on election results, Robredo was declared winner in the vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes, or 263,473 more than the 14,155,344 votes earned by Marcos.
The recount and revision will be done daily during the weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.