Bongbong Marcos glad poll protest moving fast

Former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. is assertive that his petition for vote recounts on provinces concerning his electoral protest will proceed.

The Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) gave directives to the Marcos and the incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo to submit their respective comments on issues the tribunal identified regarding their poll protests, having only three witnesses per precints.

The former senator's is confident that the retrieval of ballots and pertinent paraphernalia, as well as the recount of votes will ensue.

However, the camp of the vice president is insisting that the PET must first solve the issue on the automated election system's integrity before the revision of votes, on Marcos' camps, they insist that such issue can be resolved simultaneously.

Marcos also asked the electoral tribunal to declare the election results in three provinces in Muslim Mindanao namely Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao as invalid for terrorism, intimidation, and harrassment to voters and also for pre-shading of ballots.

For Robredo's part, her protest requested PET for manual recount on provinces of Capiz, Sulu, and North Cotabato. According to her, Marcos' first raised issue about the integrity of the automated elections system should be resolved first before the former's senator's request to declare the votes on clustered precints of Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao as invalid.

Meanwhile, the Vice President's camp sought the PET for an extension deadline in settling her remaining P7 million unpaid cash deposit for her counter-protest against the former Senator Marcos.

The deadline was originally set on 14th of July 2017. She had primarily paid P8 million out of the P15.45 million protest fee.

"There’s no specific period yet. The PET will determine (the period of extension) based on the arguments we will raise in our motion," Romulo Macalintal stated, one of the VP's lawyers.

"Since the tribunal is just on an exploratory stage as to the collection of ballot boxes and that the pilot (areas) involved only three provinces, it is only practical and reasonable to suspend Robredo’s payment of cash deposit," he added.

According to Macalintal, the PET should reset the payment's deadline after completely reviewing the votes for the three pilot provinces which Marcos identified in his electoral protest.

Former Senator Marcos claimed that he was cheated on May 2016 elections. He is protesting the results of 132,446 voting precints's ballots from 39,221 clustered precincts from 27 cities and provinces.

Robredo, who allegedly beat the Marcos by 260,000, protested 31,278 polling precinct.

Source: ABS-CBN, INQ