By Leslie Ann Aquino
The National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) is asking the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to allow the media and accredited citizens’ arms of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to observe the manual recount of the contested ballots in the poll protest of former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos against Vice President Ma. Leonor ‘Leni’Robredo.
“We request the PET to inform the public of the complete procedure and duration of the recount and to allow the Comelec accredited citizens’ arms and media to observe the process,” Namfrel said in a statement.
Namfrel Secretary General Eric Alvia said transparency may bolster the integrity of the recount process before the public eye.
The poll watchdog said it is looking forward to the vote recount in the hope that this would finally settle the issue.
“The Namfrel looks forward to the PET finally commencing the vote recount, which could hopefully settle the dispute on the alleged miscount on the Vice Presidential race of the 2016 National and Local Elections,” said the group.
Robredo defeated Marcos in the May 2016 vice presidential elections by only 200,000 votes prompting the latter to file an election protest before the PET in June 2016.
The PET already commenced on Monday the manual recount and revisions of ballots in three provinces identified by Marcos in his poll protest.
On the first day of the manual recount, Marcos questioned the lack of audit logs inside the 38 ballot boxes and wet ballots in four boxes.