Leni proposes ballot image use to speed up protest

By Raymund Antonio

The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday turned to the ballot images to expedite the resolution of the election protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against her.

Robredo’s lead counsel Romulo Macalintal challenged Marcos to use the picture images of the ballots instead of physical count of ballots to determine the “true results” of the vice presidential elections.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Vice President Leni Robredo
(Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“This is but consistent with the rules that in case of discrepancy between the physical count of the ballots, the results of the count of ballot images shall prevail,” he said.

The veteran lawyer made the assertion that ballot images are the “most expeditious way” to resolve an election protest as Marcos camp accused Robredo of conspiring with the poll body to cheat in the 2016 polls.

Macalintal continued to debunk the ex-senator’s claim on the decision of the Comelec backing Robredo on the 25 percent ballot shading threshold for the ongoing vote recount.

Marcos, through his lawyer and spokesman Vic Rodriguez, called the Comelec’s position on the ballot threshold issue as “not only patently illegal but at best meant to justify the cheating done to favor Mrs. Robredo.”

Rodriguez said they are “not all surprised with the Comelec position. The conspiracy is so clear and the co-conspirator is not expected to admit it.”

But Macalintal denied the conspiracy between the Vice President and Comelec over the shading threshold issue.

“We vehemently deny such a baseless and frivolous accusation coming as it does from an election loser who cannot accept defeat in good grace,” Robredo’s lawyer said.

“It now appears that Marcos is so afraid to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, since the affirmation by the Comelec of the use of the 25 percent threshold exposed the falsity of his previous claim that the Comelec did not use the said threshold in the 2016 elections,” he added.

Macalintal went on to tell Marcos that he was “consistently inconsistent” for his remarks that his protest was meant to question the Comelec for the misconduct of the election, false canvassing, and manipulation of the transmission of the election results in favor of Robredo.

“Now that the Comelec clearly clarified that the vote counting machines would read ballots shaded within the 25 percent threshold, he is once again raising the issue of the integrity of the election system, which the PET had dismissed,” he said.

Macalintal reminded Marcos and his spokesperson about election matters, which he noted are not “games of technicalities in which one more deeply schooled and skilled in the subtle act or movements and position, entraps or destroys the other or like a duel won by a rapier’s thrust.”