• Court taps contractuals for VP election protest


    The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, has authorized initial hiring of 60 contractual workers for a vote recount in connection with a protest of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo.

    The SC, acting on a recommendation of the electoral tribunal’s acting administrative officer Eden Candelaria, issued a resolution on October 18 to effect the workers’ employment.

    The workers shall include a finance consultant, secretaries, ballot box handlers and custodians, copying machine operators, utility workers/messengers, lock custodians, drivers, tabulators and data encoders.

    The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has set salaries ranging from P14,586 to P30,000 for the contractual employees.

    Also, it gave a nod to an amendment of its 2010 Rules allowing a non-lawyer to be qualified for the position of coordinator of revision committees and authorizing the filling up of the position of recorder.

    The electoral tribunal has already given the green light for the Commission on Elections to decrypt and print ballot images and other data found in the Secured Digital (SD) cards at its main office in Intramuros, Manila, on October 23.

    The decryption and the printing of the ballot images will be from Marcos’ three pilot provinces—Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.

    In the 2016 race for Vice President, Marcos lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes.

    He later accused her of “massive electoral fraud, anomalies and irregularities” such as pre-shading of ballots, pre-loaded SD cards, misreading of ballots, malfunctioning vote counting machines and an “abnormally high” unaccounted votes/undervotes for the position of Vice President.



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