By: Elena Grace Flores
The sources from the Supreme Court or PET said that Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest recount in the three pilot provinces is almost done. While the recount resumes on January 28 for the wet and damaged ballots. Insiders said that the suspension was only on certain precincts. This is in reference to the deliberations of the SC en banc recently. z
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[VIDEO]: SC directs revisors to refer to election returns, ballot images in Marcos poll protest vote recount
Temporary Suspension by the Supreme Court
The PET suspends the recount for damaged ballots around a month after Marcos asks the Supreme Court to urgently order the technical examination of some voting records. These are from Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao. These are the votes which Marcos wants the PET to nullify due to alleged widespread cheating.
The SC Orders the Revisors
The Supreme Court sits as the PET electoral to decide the protests of presidential and vice presidential candidates. Currently, the justices agree that they need to suspend the revision in precinct 8 of Tanjay City, and Negros Oriental due to wet ballots. They direct the head revisor to use decrypted ballot images instead. Revision in clustered precinct 42 in Barangay Sabang, Valencia was also suspended. This is because “no election return is in the ballot box.” “The revision is to proceed as to all other contested precincts,” the source added.
The PET to Rule on Nationwide Recount
The recount of ballots from Marcos’ identified three pilot provinces, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental, starts last April 1, 2018. After the recount in the said provinces, the tribunal proceeds on ruling on all objections and claims of both parties during the revision proceeding. The results of the recount in the three provinces would determine if the tribunal should continue checking ballots in the rest of the clustered precincts in nationwide.
Possible Dismissal of the Protest and Counter Protest
If upon examination of such ballots and proof, and after making reasonable allowances, the proceedings can stop. Under the Rule 65 of the 2010 Rules of the PET, the protestant or counter-protestant can lose their case. This is if the tribunal is convinced that after all circumstances are taken into account.
Formal Announcement to Follow Soon
The PET has not released any results of the revision. SC Spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez said the PET will issue a statement to clarify the report on the alleged suspension of the recount. The Supreme Court’s clarification is crucial after the conflicting insinuations from the camps of Marcos and the presumptive Vice President Leni Robredo.