Philippines

PET revision of ballots in VP poll case nears completion

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PET revision of ballots in VP poll case nears completion
By Benjamin Pulta

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on Tuesday announced that it has nearly completed the revision of ballots for the pilot provinces in the controversy over the 2016 vice presidential elections between former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo, the initial phase of the contentious process.

In a statement, the PET said the revision involved 5,417 clustered precincts from the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental which began in April last year.

The revision of ballots was completed on Monday except for a few ballot boxes, which were referred to the Tribunal for further action.

As for wet or damaged ballots, the tribunal directed the Revision Committee (RC) to use decrypted ballot images provided by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The revision proceedings for the remaining ballot boxes and decrypted ballot images will continue on January 28. In the interim, the tribunal shall prepare for the use of decrypted ballot images in the revision proceedings.

After the revision proceedings, the next stage is the appreciation of the ballots following the guidelines of the Appreciation of Ballots for the Tribunal to rule on all objections and claims made by the parties during the revision.

The revision and appreciation proceedings are the initial determination of the grounds of the protest. After this, the tribunal will determine whether to proceed with Marcos’ case.

Marcos’ spokesman lawyer Victor Rodriguez said after the completion of the revision, the case will hopefully be allowed to proceed.

“We were informed of the completion of the revision on the floor yesterday (Monday), we will know shortly how the court now intends to proceed,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The PET said that if Marcos fails to make out his case, the tribunal may dismiss the protest without further consideration of the other provinces mentioned in his protest.

If the former senator makes out his case, the tribunal may move forward with the remaining provinces subject of the protest. (PNA)

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