MANILA (Updated) -- The Supreme Court (SC), acting on the electoral protest filed by defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. against Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, began on Monday, April 2, the recount of votes in the 2016 vice presidential race.
This is the first ever recount proceedings conducted by the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
SC spokesperson Theodore Te said the revision of votes is limited to three pilot provinces selected by Marcos: Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental. This covers a total of 5,418 clustered precincts.
Marcos earlier claimed that there are major discrepancies in the actual votes cast and the result transmitted by the Vote Counting Machines in these provinces.
The result of the revision of the pilot provinces will determine if the protest will proceed with the remaining 31,047 protested clustered precincts following Rule 65 of the 2010 PET Rules.
Conducting the actual recount are the revision committees installed by the SC.
The said committees, 50 in all, are composed of three members each, one representative from Robredo's camp, one from Marcos', and one head revisor, a representative from the PET.
The head revisor is tasked to examine the contents of each ballot box and determine the number of votes received by each party. The representatives of each party is allowed to question the ballot, as they deem necessary.
Marcos and his sister, Imee, said in a press briefing that 38 precincts have no audit log.
"Clearly, somebody opened the ballot box, kinuha ang audit log and then sealed it again," said Marcos.
Robredo, on the other hand, attended a multi-sectoral mass organized by Kaya Natin at the St. Scholastica's chapel. She said the fight may be difficult, but she is confident that the truth will come out in the end.
“Alam natin na ‘yung pinaglalaban natin ngayon ay katotohanan. Maraming nagsasabi mahirap iyong kalaban. Marami iyong nagsasabi mahirap iyong panahon ngayon,” the Vice President told her supporters after the mass.
Robredo won the 2016 elections with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos, who got 14,155,344 votes.
Marcos filed an electoral protest against the incumbent vice president in June 2016. He wants the SC to annul the proclamation of the latter as vice president, as he claimed that there was a massive cheating in the 2016 polls. (SunStar Philippines)