Robredo asks PET to release official tally of initial recount

LAWYERS for Vice President Leni Robredo have asked the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to release the report on initial recount for the electoral protest filed against her by defeated candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos.

In a motion filed Monday, October 7, Robredo's lawyers requested that the parties be furnished with a copy of the Summary and Committee Report on the revision, recount and re-appreciation of ballots from the three pilot provinces, namely, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.

They said this must be done "if only to put to rest the speculations and in the greater interest of transparency," over the tribunal's impending vote on the report submitted by Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, member-in-charge for the protest.

"Bagama't mayroon kaming sariling kopya ng mga revision reports na iyan, ito ay pansarili naming files. So ang official na tally ay manggagaling sa mga revision committees at iyon ay ibibigay kay Justice Caguioa, at si Justice Caguioa naman, ihahain niya iyan sa Presidential Electoral Tribunal at gagawa siya ng sapat na report o recommendation kaugnay ng nasabing mga report," said Robredo's lead counsel, lawyer Romulo Macalintal.

"Kaya ginawa namin ang bagay na ito kasi gawa noong napakaraming ispekulasyon," he added.

Macalintal also reiterated anew that Robredo will remain as Vice President regardless of the PET's decision about the initial recount, since this will only determine whether the case should continue.

Macalintal also underscored that it is "mandatory" for the tribunal to follow Rule 65, which states that a "substantial recovery" must be seen in the initial recount in order for the case to proceed.

"Iyang initial determination, iyan ay mandatory. Iyan ay dapat na sinusunod ng ating Korte Suprema, ng ating PET, na ang ibig sabihin noong initial determination, iyon ngang pilot precincts, iyong tatlong probinsya, kapag wala kang na-recover, dismissed ang kaso mo," he said.

"Kapag hindi iyan sinunod ng PET, aba'y delikado iyan dahil sa ang mangyayari, doon sa Comelec, sa House Electoral Tribunal, sa Senate Electoral Tribunal, sa mga regional trial courts na humahawak ng mga kaso, aba'y maba-balewala na rin iyong initial determination principle at iyan ay magiging dahilan para magkaroon ng anomalya sa mga susunod na mga election protest. At magtataka tayo, bakit naman hindi nila susundin iyan?" he added.

"Hindi maaaring balewalain ng PET ang rules na sila mismo ang gumawa," he added. (PR)


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