SC sitting as PET recount votes from Iloilo for VP electoral protest

Published June 9, 2018, 3:07 PM

by iManila Developer

By Raymund Antonio

After the retrieval of ballots from Iloilo, the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, went on to recount the votes from the province for the vice presidential electoral protest.

Headed by Atty. Ed Ancheta, the The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), conducts an inspection of the venue where the manual recount and revision of ballots in three provinces identified by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in his protest against Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo, will be held. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo confirmed the ballot recount for Iloilo has already started on Thursday almost two weeks after they were retrieved.

The PET was able to retrieve 2,263 ballots in Iloilo from May 21 to 25 for the protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Robredo.

Robredo’s co-counsel Maria Bernadette Sardillo said that as of Friday afternoon, 23 ballot boxes from clustered precincts of the municipality of Ajuy have been opened.

“Yes. May mga natapos na from Camarines Sur so sinunod na agad ang Iloilo (Yes. There were ballots recounted from Camarines Sur so they have moved immediately to Iloilo),” she told the Manila Bulletin when asked if the ballots from the two provinces will be recounted at the same time.

Sardillo, however, clarified the vote recount in Robredo’s home province did not include yet the ballots under the custody of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and the 35 wet ballots in the town of Tinambac.

The manual recount for the vice presidential election case continues, with Camarines Sur ballots currently being recounted by the PET, including now those from Iloilo.

Undergoing manual recount and revision are ballots in 1,428 and 2,263 boxes in Camarines Sur and Iloilo, respectively. The PET so far completed the recount of ballots from 1,382 boxes in Camarines Sur. Also recounted were the ballots from 23 boxes in Iloilo.

Iloilo and Camarines Sur are two of pilot provinces identified by Marcos in his election protest. The other is Negros Oriental, where ballot boxes have yet to be retrieved and recounted.

If Marcos could not prove any substantial recovery from these three provinces, his protest will be dismissed for lack of merit.

Sardillo disputed false allegations of Marcos’ lawyer and spokesman Vic Rodriguez that anomalies were found on the ballots from Iloilo. She called it a publicity stunt.

Rodriguez alleged ballots were found wet and placed inside plastic containers commonly used as household storage devices or picnic containers during the retrieval, which Robredo’s camp vehemently denied.

“We gently remind our counterpart to read the reports from the ground as it would explain the so-called anomalies that he announced to the media,” Sardillo said.