SC moves forward with Marcos electoral protest
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) is pushing forward with the electoral protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr as it set a preliminary conference on June 21.
SC Spokesman Theodore Te released the information on Wednesday, April 26, as a followup to Tuesday's PET decision ordering Vice President Leni Robredo to pay an P8-million deposit on her P15-million service fee within 5 days.
The PET granted Marcos' motion to set a preliminary conference, scheduled on June 21 at 2 pm, "without prejudice to the tribunal's resolution of all remaining pending incidents."
Marcos had been requesting for the preliminary conference because according to his lawyers, it will set in motion hearings on the electoral protest.
Marcos lawyer Vic Rodriguez explained then that when the parties submit their preliminary conference briefs, the SC can set a date for judicial revision of the ballots – something that the Marcos camp wants.
The Marcos camp cited Rule 38 of the 2010 PET Rules which says "a revision of votes shall commence on the date specified in the preliminary conference order."
Rule 65, meanwhile, says that either camp may be required to present at most 3 provinces "best exemplifying the frauds or irregularities alleged in [the] petition."
If the 3 provinces as case studies prove meritorious, the protest or counter-protest prospers. If not, it could be dismissed without futher consideration to the other areas cited in the protest.
Marcos is questioning over 39,221 clustered precincts, composed of 132,446 established precincts.
Robredo's counter-protest involves 8,042 clustered precincts, consisting of 31,278 established precincts. (READ: Presidential Electoral Tribunal: What happens to a protest)
The PET ordered Marcos and Robredo to submit their preliminary conference briefs 5 days before June 21. The briefs should contain the following, according to the PET:
- The possibility of obtaining stipulations or admissions of facts and documents to avoid unnecessary proof
- The simplification of the issues
- The limitation of the number of witnesses
- The most expeditious manner for the retrieval of ballot boxes containing the ballots, elections returns, certificates of canvass and other election documents involved in the election protest
- Such other matters as may aid in the prompt dispostion of the election protest and counter-protest
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