PET orders VP Robredo to answer Marcos’ poll protest

By on August 2, 2016

Vice-President Leni Robredo and Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos. (Facebook photos)
Vice-President Leni Robredo and Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos. (Facebook photos)

MANILA—The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), ordered Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo on Tuesday to answer the election protest filed by losing candidate former Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

Likewise, the SC granted the prayer of the protestant for a precautionary protection order (PPO) and ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to preserve and protect the integrity of all the ballot boxes and their contents used in the May 9, 2016 elections for the position of Vice President.

“The Tribunal resolved to ISSUE SUMMONS and GRANT the prayer of the protestant for a Precautionary Protection Order pursuant to Rule 36 of the 2010 Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal,” SC Public Information Office (PIO) Chief and Spokesman Atty. Theodore O. Te said of the PET resolution in a press conference on Tuesday.

“The Tribunal further resolved to NOTE the Manifestation dated July 1, 2016 by counsel for the protestant,” Te added.

The case is an election protest under Rule 15 dated June 28, 2016 filed by counsel for protestant Marcos contesting the election and proclamation of protestee Robredo as Vice President of the Philippines in the 2016 national and local elections.

In his petition, Marcos argued that the proclamation of Robredo as the duly-elected Vice President is null and void because the certificates of canvass (COCs) generated by the consolidation and canvass system (CCS) are not authentic and may not be used as basis to determine the number of votes that the candidates for Vice President received.

He further argued that massive electoral fraud, anomalies and irregularities such as terrorism, violence, force, threats, intimidation, pre-shading of ballots, vote-buying, substitution of voters, flying voters, pre-loaded secure digital (SD) cards, misreading of ballots, unexplained irregular and improper rejection of ballots, malfunctioning of vote counting machines (VCMs) and abnormally high unaccounted votes/undervotes for the position of Vice President affected the results in 25 provinces and five highly-urbanized cities consisting of 39,221 clustered precincts.

The PET’s resolution requiring the issuance of summons on the protestee Robredo, with a copy of the protest, required her to file an answer to the protest within 10 days from receipt of the summons.