Bongbong Marcos through his lawyer, Atty. Vic Rodriguez said that they respect the PET’s ruling on their alleged protest gag ruling violation. They are in full compliance. However, for his part, he explained that he was merely making “observations” and not “prejudgments” on the case. This is his manifestation in his compliance document.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Bongbong Marcos Complies with the Gag Ruling while Robredo is in Denial.
The former senator insisted that his claims of wet ballots and “missing” audit logs reported by media on the first day of the recount were “limited to his personal observation of what transpired during the revision.” “To be sure, the legal counsels of the protestant repeatedly requested that the Adhoc Revision Committee of this Honorable Tribunal to issue media advisories in connection with the ongoing proceedings so that they will not be forced to grant an interview in order to clarify the developments in this election protest,” he added.
Electoral Protest Update
Marcos accuses Robredo of committing electoral fraud to win the vice presidency in the 2016 national elections. Recount on his poll protest started on April 2 and is currently ongoing at the Supreme Court compound in Manila.
Robredo, through her legal counsel Romulo Macalintal, filed their compliance on the show cause order on April. They maintained that her camp has not “given sensitive information” to the public on the ongoing vote recount. The vice president’s camp also argued that they were merely “correcting” misinformation spread by Marcos’ camp, citing the former senator’s statement that there were wet ballots and missing audit logs discovered on April 2, the first day of the recount.
Protest Gag Ruling vs. Transparency
The PET reminded the two parties that they had earlier been ordered to “strictly observe” the sub judice rule in a resolution dated February 13. The directive was reiterated in another resolution on March 20. However, the people need transparency on this issue. Given that this is a top public interest at this time.
In the beginning, it can be believable that VP Leni Robredo is innocent with such election frauds allegedly perpetrated by her political party. However, the point that she let her lawyer, Atty. Macalintal’s stands in the electoral protest filed against her by Bongbong Marcos dictate her every move is a manifestation that she allows herself to be used. Take it into consideration that she is also a lawyer. She cannot blame it on LP or Macalintal later on when she needs to concede to Marcos. Besides, she’s very vocal demonizing the former Senator and swears to block him by all means. Her credibility is definitely on the line.
[VIDEO]: These are compilations of events that feature VP Leni Robredo’s struggles in blocking Bongbong Marcos’ Vice Presidency bid.
SC Must Not Permit Free-Riding
“With all due respect, since Robredo did not contribute any share in the expenses and supplies for the undertaking, it is unfair, unjust and inequitable that she was allowed by the PET to obtain soft copies of the decrypted images of the ballots, election returns, audit logs and other relevant documents for the pilot protest,” Marcos’ motion stated. Robredo must also shoulder the expenses for the decryption process, he added.
To have copies of the documents for both parties is standard practice in the spirit of transparency and fairness, Macalintal said. The soft copies can surely help both parties to protect their rights. However, in the spirit of decency, Robredo should have paid a part of the cost.
Grave Error by the SC
“With all due respect, this Honorable Tribunal committed a grave error when it allowed Robredo to secure decrypted copies of the ballot images, election returns, audit logs and other relevant documents,” Marcos said on his December 4 motion. This wrong move by the PET coincides with the suspicion. There’s apparently an LP force that delays the process in the Supreme Court. Robredo simply rides along with it. Besides, the en banc is not only one justice’s decision. The recount in February 2018 puts her credibility at risk.
Atty. Romulo Macalintal said it first that the election recount of Bongbong Marcos’ protest against VP Leni Robredo is at the second week of February. The review of ballots from the contested clustered precincts in Camarines Sur, the vice president’s home province, is the priority. The retrieval is on January 22, 2018. The Supreme Court finally confirms it the next day.
[VIDEO]: VP manual vote recount in 3 provinces to start in February 2018
Macalintal explains that if Marcos could not prove any irregularity from the three pilot provinces, his protest is to be dismissed for lack of merit. Marcos’ three pilot provinces are Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental. For Camarines Sur alone, Macalintal said that P9.6 million is chargeable to Marcos’ cash deposit for the retrieval of ballots, salaries, and allowances of employees, security, transportation, and other expenses.
Meeting on Election Recount Regulations
Macalintal and Marcos’ lawyer, George Garcia, was at the SC for a meeting on the regulations governing the recount of votes. A tour of the venue for the recount process followed. Macalintal is confident that the recount will “confirm and affirm the victory of Robredo as VP in the May 2016 elections.
If the recount of ballots for local elective officials matches with the official election results, a national position would be similar. This is because the ballots used for the local and national elective positions are the same. They are counted and tallied by the same VCMs and CCS, said Macalintal.
Disclosure or Sabotage?
Many wondered why Macalintal announces the recount date first before the Supreme Court. He also insinuates that the recount results for the pilot areas would be the same as the final tallies. He based his disclosure on the past recounts since 2010. Doubts about his camp’s honesty loom because of his overconfidence. They asked why he is so sure of his insights if they have not done any moves to make sure that both results are identical? For sure, advocate for a clean election, Atty. Glenn Chong is on vigil with the recount processes as Macalintal acted suspiciously.
Bongbong Marcos’s lawyer, Atty. George Garcia reiterates that he partly agrees with the assumptions of VP Leni Robredo’s lawyer, Romulo Macalintal. That the recount can take 7 months or more. In fact, some protests are already over when the ruling is made. However, the Marcos Camp is ready for the lengthy process. They are practical about it. That’s why they pursue the case. This is an opportunity to improve the country’s digital election system. It’s a crucial test to be logical on what to do with Smartmatic. Given that it is the only national protest that reaches the full payment stage.
[VIDEO]: Atty. George Garcia for the Marcos Camp explains that the process of their election protest against VP Leni Robredo is indeed very long. It’s the first-ever national protest that can proceed. Even Mar Roxas’ protest against Binay is not at par because the latter only paid Php 300,000.
Macalintal butt in when Garcia explains that the whole recount process is a lengthy one. The 7 months estimate of Garcia does not include the collection of ballots, shipping, and other procedures. Atty. Garcia is gracious enough to agree with this in reality. But made some corrections.
The Only Surviving National Election Protest
Atty. Garcia clarifies that there may be lots of election protests on the local level since 201o but it’s in 2016 that there are Senatorial and VP race protests. Among these cases in the national front, it’s only Bongbong Marcos who has paid in full. They also do not assume that they can win immediately after the payment.
No Recount has Changed the Result in the Past
Macalintal stresses that in the past, no recount has made a revision on the final vote counts. The image printing may be an expensive process but previously, it did not make a difference in the official count. Garcia said that this may be the case but it is important for the country to make use of Marcos’ case to improve future automated elections in the future especially at the national level. Presidential at that.
Win or Lose is Acceptable
The Marcos Camp is grateful enough that the case continues. The results of the recounts in pilot provinces are the only things that matter for Supreme Court to rule if the election protest versus the Vice President has merits. So, other motions like the ARMM tech test must be out of the way. Perhaps, Marcos’ protest can help to decide on Smartmatic’s faith in 2019 which Macalintal defensively said to not blame it for alleged anomalies.
Bongbong Marcos earlier asks for a technical examination in three Mindanao provinces allegedly because of the existence of fake voters. Marcos said the revisors need to examine each and every signature in the voter’s list to make sure that the vote is cast by the real voter. Leni Robredo opposes this because those are not Marcos’ pilot provinces. Therefore, it’s denial is not a big deal for the Marcos Camp. Despite the long wait, the election protest against Robredo continues to roll.
[VIDEO]: PET kicks off discussion on Marcos poll protest, Robredo counter-protest
Stay with Pilot Provinces
Robredo’s camp said that Marcos has to content himself with the results of the recount of ballots from the three pilot provinces. Those are the basis of the PET to determine if Marcos’s protest shall proceed. Examination of other provinces can continue after that or the protest may be dismissed for lack of merit.
No Single Protest Have Won in the Past
“We are highly confident that after such recount the PET can see all the valid grounds and reasons to dismiss Marcos’ protest. Out of the hundreds of election protest cases, not a single election protest won. Particularly by any protestant on the basis of a recount of the ballots,” said Romulo Macalintal. However, the PET itself discloses that there are no other protests like Marcos’ case. In fact, it’s the only one that reaches the payment process.
Marcos is Confident that Recount Will Happen
Marcos has full confidence in the PET. This is the very reason why he files the electoral protest against Robredo. He has paid in full also prior to the deadline. This was not the case in the past protests that Macalintal talks about. Robredo, however, still has paid the second tranch of the required payment.
Dismissal of Motions are Over
Dealing with motions from both Camps is over. They now look forward to opening the ballot boxes. No amount of witnesses can ever surpass the importance of the manual recount itself. The ballots from the pilot provinces of Marcos are the ultimate judge of his victory or defeat during the last VP race against Robredo.