MANILA — The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), handles cases without irregularities or manipulation, particularly on the electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo’s win.
This was the assurance of Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin on Thursday declaring to the public that there is no manipulation on the pending protest at the PET with the intention of favoring a certain party to the case.
“Don’t worry, ‘di ko niluluto ‘yan. Di pwede lutuin yan (I’m not rigging that. It cannot be rigged),” Bersamin told reporters when asked about the outcome of the protest, while he led the launching of the SC’s Judiciary Memorabilia Hall.
“I know everybody is so keen expecting some pronouncements but, you know the en banc is very deliberate about serious matters. This is a matter of national impact,” Bersamin said.
“(There will be court action) By next week. It may not be what you are expecting. We are still discussing many other things taking up a lot of matters so that’s all I can tell you,” he explained, as he bared that the en banc will “probably” be voting on the case next en banc session, October 15.
Robredo’s lawyers on Monday filed an urgent motion asking the PET to release the results of the initial vote recount, summary and committee reports on the revision, recount, and re-appreciation of ballots in Marcos’ three pilot provinces of Iloilo, Naga City, and Negros Occidental.
Under Rule 65 of the PET rules, the recount result will determine if the protest will be dismissed or not. It added that should there be a big discrepancy between the official tally and figures from the revision, the coverage of the recount will be expanded to 24 other provinces and cities, involving 30,000 poll precincts.
Robredo won the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.
In his protest, Marcos contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.
He named three provinces where he can supposedly prove that irregularities marred the conduct of the 2016 national and local elections: Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental, and Iloilo.