MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Vice President Leni Robredo can now be sure her camp will use the same set of election data as her rival Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr in the electoral protest the latter filed against her.
This is after the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), ruled to allow her access to the soft copies of the ballot images that will be decrypted from secured digital cards in Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.
These are the provinces that Marcos chose for the initial ballot recount. The merit of the rest of his electoral protest depends on the findings in these 3 areas. (READ: TIMELINE: Marcos-Robredo election case)
A ballot image is captured once a ballot enters the vote counting machine on election day.
“We welcome the PET’s decision because it will provide us with additional blanket of security to the votes received by VP Leni as they decrypt the contents of the SD cards,” said Robredo’s lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Friday, December 1.
The PET’s latest resolution issued on November 7 reads, “[The Tribunal resolved to] grant the Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to be Allowed to Secure Soft Copies of the Ballot Images and Other Reports from the Decrypted Secured Digital Cards dated October 23, 2017 filed by counsel for protestee Robredo.”
This means Robredo may now coordinate with the Commission on Elections to determine the procedure and prepare the supplies needed to secure the soft copies. The poll body said it can provide copies to the Marcos camp, too.
In the same resolution, the PET once again deferred its decision on whether or not to allow the technical and forensic examination of all election materials in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao.
Marcos wants the PET to nullify the votes in these 3 provinces. (READ: 2016 Bongbong vs Leni poll protest: What ARMM ‘election fingerprints’ say)
Robredo beat Marcos by just over 200,000 votes in the 2016 polls. He then accused her and the once-ruling Liberal Party of cheating in the polls and filed a case against Robredo.
Read the full copy of the PET’s November 7 resolution below: