MANILA - The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) will send summon to Vice President Jejomar Binay and require him to answer the election protest of Senator Manuel Roxas II within 10 days.
This developed after Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who heads the PET, found the election protest of Roxas sufficient in form and substance, said SC spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez.
Marquez said Binay has 10 days to submit his comment on the protest. As soon as Binay submits his comment, a preliminary conference will be called, he said.
Roxas's election protest was raffled off among the SC magistrates on Friday. The court official, however, declined to disclose whom the case was assigned.
Roxas, through his lawyers, filed the election protest on July 9, a month after Binay was proclaimed by Congress, sitting as National Board of Canvassers (NBC), as the winner of the vice presidential race on May 10.
The petition is seeking to nullify the proclamation of Binay as duly elected vice president.
No additional merits
The camp of Binay, meanwhile, noted that the findings of the PET did not, in any way, give additional merits of Roxas's allegations.
Binay's spokesman, lawyer JV Bautista, said the PET resolution does not change anything or gives any credence to the petition.
"The resolution giving due course to the protest of Mr. Mar Roxas is a matter of procedure. It does not give any credence to the allegations made in the protest," Bautista said.
Bautista said they have yet to receive a copy of the protest and that they believed it is just a rehash of the issues raised by Roxas during the canvassing of the NBC.
"The VP (Binay) has not received a copy of the protest but his lawyers believed that it involves the same allegations during the canvassing that are bereft of merit," he said.
Earlier, Binay's camp said the protest only undermines the people's renewed faith in the country's electoral system and make Roxas just like a traditional politician who cannot accept defeat at the polls.
Annul Binay's proclamation
In the protest, Roxas sought to annul the proclamation of Binay as the duly elected vice president on the ground that there are about three million votes that were not counted during the canvassing of votes.
Roxas also urged the PET to conduct a manual revision of votes and order a complete and accurate count of votes that were not canvassed and considered stray or null by the Commission on Elections.
He asked the SC to create and constitute a technical panel of independent experts that would conduct a comprehensive, system-wide forensic analysis and comparison of the country's first automated election system to "ensure that the true will of the electorate is upheld."
According to the protest, the certificates of canvass (COCs) that formed the basis of Binay's proclamation were not duly and properly authenticated as these failed to meet all legal requirements for the determination of authenticity and due execution of the COCs for vice president in violation of the Constitution.
In filing his protest, Roxas's camp paid a filing fee of P100,000 and an initial deposit of P200,000, the principal amount of which will still have to be determined by the PET. (JCV/AH/Sunnex)