AFTER the revision and appreciation of votes from three pilot provinces, Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo's lead over defeated candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. increased, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) resolution showed.
Robredo's lead increased from 263,473, based on the results of the 2016 elections, to 278,566, based on the results of the revision and appreciation of 5,415 clustered precincts in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.
The PET said it used as base figures the votes canvassed during the 2016 elections.
Based on the certificates of canvass (COCs) in 2016, Robredo received 14,418,817 votes while Marcos obtained 14,155,344 votes.
The tribunal deducted from these figures the votes that the two candidates received in 5,418 clustered precincts in the three pilot provinces, which Marcos had picked for the recount.
Based on the provincial COCs, Robredo received 1,493,517 votes from the 5,418 clustered precincts while Marcos got 202,136 votes.
Of the 5,418 precincts, three were not included in the revision and appreciation of votes because the paper ballots and ballot images were not available.
In these three clustered precincts, Robredo received 859 votes while Marcos had 51.
These votes, 859 and 51, were subtracted, respectively, from Robredo's 1,493,517 votes and Marcos's 202,136 votes.
Thus, Robredo had 1,492,658 votes while Marcos garnered 202,085 votes in 5,415 clustered precincts.
The canvassed votes from the 5,415 precincts were then subtracted from the total votes that each candidate received in 2016.
Less the votes from the 5,415 precincts covered by the pilot recount, Robredo's votes totaled 12,926,159 while Marcos's was 13,953,259.
The PET then conducted the revision and appreciation of the votes cast in the 5,415 precincts, which yielded the following results: Robredo received 1,476,378 votes while Marcos had 200,495 votes.
Votes from sustained objections, 848 for Robredo and 98 for Marcos, were subtracted from these while votes due to admitted claims, 34,648 for Robredo and 4,115 for Marcos, were added.
Admitted claims included stray votes, ballots with over-votes and VCM-rejected ballots.
From the 5,415 precincts, Robredo received 1,510,178 votes while Marcos got 204,512 votes.
The results of the revision and appreciation, 1,510,178 for Robredo and 204,512 for Marcos, were then added to the COC votes minus the 5,415 precincts, which were 12,926,159 for Robredo and 13,953,259 for Marcos.
The total was 14,436,337 for Robredo and 14,157,771 for Marcos after the recount in the 5,415 clustered precincts, or a lead of 278,566 for Robredo.
The PET resolution, which was issued on October 15, 2019, directed both Robredo and Marcos to "examine the results of the revision and appreciation" as well as comment on all legal issues before the tribunal would rule on whether to continue the recount or not.
"This controversy has spawned very serious but unfounded and careless speculations on the part of many partisan observers who, on the basis of incomplete information, would rather latch on to their favorites conspiratorial theories rather than critically examine the facts and the law involved in this case," the resolution stated.
It was signed by then chief justice Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Andres Reyes Jr., Alexander Gesmundo, Jose Reyes, Jr., Ramon Paul Hernando, Rosmari Carandang, Amy Lazaro-Javier, Henri Jean Paul Inting and Rodil Zalameda.
Justices Alfredo Caguioa and Antonio T. Carpio dissented. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)