ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

THE Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) cannot be faulted for following the law. The Commission on Elections issued Comelec Resolution 8804 in 2010, which is the procedure it adopted for the manual recount of ballots, where it specified that ballots with shades less than 50 percent will not be counted as valid votes. There is no record of any Comelec resolution which changed this minimum threshold to 25 percent, not even Comelec Resolution 9164 which amended Resolution 8804. The rule is that when an amendment is silent on a provision, the earlier provision stands. The PET also correctly pointed out that the Random Manual Audit Guidelines and Report is not sufficient proof that the minimum threshold for manual recounts has been lowered. Not only that, but a random manual audit is not legally the same as a manual recount. It is also a fact that the threshold of 25 percent was just mentioned in the minutes of an en banc meeting of the Comelec on September 6, 2016, four months after the election and when the electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos had already commenced, and not as a numbered resolution like Resolutions 8804 and 9164 which were promulgated before the elections.

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