Marcos camp claims 'substantial recovery' in initial recount but won't say how much

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2019 09:36 AM

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MANILA - A spokesman of former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos said the ex-senator made substantial recovery in the initial recount of 3 pilot provinces under his electoral protest but refused to say how many votes were recovered.

The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, on Tuesday voted to release the report on the initial recount of ballots, Marcos' second cause of action, and require parties to comment.

Atty. Vic Rodriguez, however, refused to divulge the figures, saying this would violate the sub judice rule.

"If you’re gonna ask us, of course we have made substantial recovery. 'Yung naganap na revision, parehong partido ay may kopya nung kani-kanilang na-tally," he told ANC's Early Edition.

(In the revision, both parties had copies of their respective tallies.)

"Ngunit wala hong evidentiary value 'yun dahil yung lista mo pabor sayo, 'yung lista ko pabor sa akin. 'Yung tribunal ang magdedecide."

(But it does not have evidentiary value because their list favors their own interest, my list favors me. The tribunal will decide.)

Vice President Leni Robredo's camp earlier claimed her lead over her opponent in the 2016 elections grew by 15,000 votes after the initial recount, which Rodriguez said he disagrees with.

The high court also gave Marcos and Robredo 20 days to submit a memoranda on the former senator's motion to nullify votes for the 2016 vice-presidential election in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao.

Former poll commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the SC must act on Marcos' second action before moving on to his third one that seeks "wholesale" nullification of votes in provinces.

Rodriguez, however, said the high court could tackle both causes of action at the same time as he claimed the Supreme Court earlier ruled the two were "separate and distinct."

He rejected PET Rule 65, which the Robredo camp has been mentioning, that states the court may dismiss an election protest "if upon examination of such ballots and proof, and after making reasonable allowances into account, the protestant or counter-protestant will most probably fail to make out his case."

"Marunong ho kami umintindi ng batas, sabi ng batas 'may,' permissive," he said.

(We know how to understand the law, the law says 'may." It's permissive.)

Rodriguez also denied claims that their camp has been changing tactics to delay the proceedings, saying they filed 3 causes of action from the start.

"Bakit namin gustong madelay ito eh tatlo't kalahating taon na naming binubuno itong kasong ito. Ang pinaguusapan lamang ay 6 na taong termino. Any delay will be prejudicial to the true and lawful winner for the Vice President," he said.

(Why would we want to delay this case we have been building for 3 years? The term is only for 6 years.)

"Why would we seek for a delay? It’s not going to be advantageous to us, it’s not in our best interest and we stand to gain nothing if we have this case delayed eh much delayed na ho ito (this is much delayed already)."