By Raymund Antonio
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday shrugged off the petition of former Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the technical examination of voting records in some parts of Mindanao in connection with his election protest before the Supreme Court.
Robredo’s lead counsel Romulo Macalintal reiterated that Marcos’ move to have a technical examination in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao was only meant to “save his dying protest.”
“Iyon ay para lamang mabigyang katwiran ang kanyang protesta na talagang dismissible na. Kasi base sa mga pag-i-examine ng mga balota ngayon, ay talagang walang patutunguhan ang kanyang protesta,” he said.
(That was only intended to make an excuse for his protest that is already dismissible. Because based on the current examination of ballots, his protest is leading nowhere.)
Macalintal was asked to react to the Marcos’ motion for the SC to resolve his earlier petition for the technical examination of election documents while he was in Cebu for a campaign sortie.
The election lawyer, who is running for senator in the May 13 polls, is a member of the opposition “Otso Diretso” slate.
Marcos’ lawyer George Garcia filed the motion before the SC, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, a day after Marcos and his supporters held a candle light vigil on Monday night to mark the 1000th Day of his election protest.
In the petition, Marcos asked the PET to subpoena relevant documents from the Comelec given the supposed evidence of voters’ substitution in the separate electoral protest filed by ARMM gubernatorial candidate Abdusakur Tan against ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman.
They also asked the PET to investigate the board of election inspectors and immediately direct the poll body to examine the voters’ registration records and election day computerized voters’ list in the three Mindanao provinces.
But Macalintal repeated his claim that the alleged election result from ARMM was not related to the election protest of Marcos.
“Gusto niyang gamitin ito, e nakapagtataka, hindi naman kami party doon sa nasabing kasong iyon. Iyon ay haka-haka pa lamang, gusto na niyang gamiting ebidensiya daw sa Korte Suprema.” he said.
(What is puzzling is he wants to use this. We are not a party in the case. That’s still a speculation and he wants to use it as evidence in the Supreme Court.)
The Robredo camp is against the Marcos’ motion since these ARMM provinces were not part of the three pilot provinces that he had chosen: Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental. Macalintal said Marcos failed to gain substantial recovery of votes in these provinces during the recount.