Marcos move to examine ballots in 3 ARMM provinces illegal, says Robredo camp


THE camp of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo has opposed the move of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos to put under technical examination the 2016 ballots from Basilan, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, saying this violates the Supreme Court rules on poll protests.

Romulo Macalintal, lawyer for Robredo, made the opposition in an October 12 comment filed before the Supreme Court—sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET)—in response to Marcos’ pleading asking the PET to order a technical examination of election documents (including ballots) in Basilan, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur to coincide with the recount of the ballots in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.

The PET has allowed the recount of ballots in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental, which Marcos chose as those best exemplifying poll fraud in accordance with PET rules.

“Marcos now wants to confuse the issues. Worse, he is trying to circumvent the rules by adding the three ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) provinces under the guise of asking only for the technical examination of election paraphernalia. Such a ploy is a clear circumvention of the rule,” Macalintal said in a statement.

Macalintal said the PET decided in its August 29 ruling that a technical examination of election paraphernalia in Basilan, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur was premature and could be done only after Marcos has shown sufficient recovery in Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.

“If Marcos is allowed to conduct said technical examination from these three ARMM provinces, he would in effect be actually having six pilot provinces. Circumvention of the law is never countenanced as it is a clear sign of bad faith,” Macalintal said.

“Courts should not assist someone like Marcos in achieving an improper purpose,” Macalintal said.

Robredo beat Marcos in all of the six provinces.

Robredo beat Marcos in Maguindanao, 220,125 votes against 80,591; as well as in Lanao del Sur, 180,539 votes to 56,243.

Robredo also won against Marcos in Basilan, 77,321 to 32,326.

Robredo also decimated Marcos in her hometown of Camarines Sur with 664,190 votes as against Marcos’ 41,219.

Robredo also beat Marcos in Negros Oriental, 255,598 to 66,506; as well as in Iloilo, 137,662 to 33,778.

Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental and Iloilo are known bailiwicks of the Liberal Party (LP), the political party of Robredo.

In the final tally, Robredo beat Marcos by 263,473 votes.



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