Pili, Camarines Sur: The retrieval of ballot boxes in connection with the poll protest filed by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo started under tight security here Tuesday.
Ballot boxes from 538 precincts in 12 municipalities were retrieved. The municipalities include Cabusao, Sipocot, Lupi, Ragay, Del Gallego, Libmanan, Pamplona, Pasacao, San Fernando, Milaor, Gainza and Minalabac.
The retrievals of ballots will continue until Friday. These will be collated at the provincial capitol and will be transported under heavy guard to the Supreme Court in Manila.
“The Supreme Court [sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal]has also deployed security detail. So far, we don’t see any problem. Each ballot box will be inspected because the retrieval team here has to make sure that all the election paraphernalia that will be sent to Manila will be complete,” Bernadette Sardillo, counsel for Robredo, said in an interview.
“As to the transport [of the ballot boxes to Manila], we have been assured by the Supreme Court that the ballot boxes will be secure. There will be 31 Special Action Forces who will be deployed, and another 31 from the security detail of the Supreme Court. The transport will be by land, because boarding it in a plane would be expensive,” Sardillo added.
The retrieval of ballots is in accordance with the PET order issued in December. Ballots will also be retrieved in Negros Oriental and Iloilo City.
Robredo beat Marcos by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 polls.