Marcos seeks probe into Laguna outing of Robredo revisor, PET staff

Mara Cepeda
Marcos seeks probe into Laguna outing of Robredo revisor, PET staff
Ex-senator Bongbong Marcos says the swimming party indicates a 'conspiracy' between the Presidential Electoral Tribunal staff and the revisor of Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr wants the Supreme Court (SC) to investigate a swimming party in Laguna attended by court staff and a ballot revisor of Vice President Leni Robredo in the ongoing electoral protest.

Marcos, through his lawyers George Garcia and Vic Rodriguez, filed with the SC on Monday, July 9, a manifestation of grave concern with extreme urgent motion to investigate. The High Court acts as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET). 

Marcos said that on June 22, Robredo’s revisor Osmundo Abuyuan went to 3J’s Resort in Pansol, Calamba, Laguna, with 20 PET employees who are conducting the ongoing recount for the electoral protest Marcos filed against Robredo.

Thet PET employees who went to the trip are as follows:

  • Reycard Castro, PET chief tabulator
  • Hazel Magsipoc, PET head revisor
  • Mohammad Disomangcop, PET head revisor
  • Jennifer Pablo, PET head revisor
  • Michaer Rebosura, PET head revisor
  • Christine Enriquez, PET head revisor
  • Noriesel Lalamunan, PET head revisor
  • Irene Canada, PET head revisor
  • Princess Bonetivo, PET head revisor
  • Maria Katrin Rosales, PET head revisor
  • Hannah Medrano, PET head revisor
  • Julius Tumalad, PET alternate head revisor
  • Ellaine Francisco, PET appraiser
  • Keno Moraleda, PET head ballot box custodian
  • Martin Santos, PET ballot box custodian
  • Edward Roque, PET ballot box custodian
  • Bryan Puntero, PET ballot box custodian
  • Elijah Mikaelson, PET ballot box custodian
  • Mel Darian Buensalido, PET ballot box custodian
  • Rogene Agudelo, PET ballot box custodian

Marcos said he discovered the outing after Rosales, a PET head revisor, had posted pictures of the trip on her Facebook account. These have since been deleted by the user, but Marcos was able to take screenshots of the Facebook posts. 

He was also able to obtain a picture of 3J Resort’s calendar indicating the outing was booked by Buensalido, PET ballot box custodian.

In his manifestation, Marcos argued the PET staff’s vacation trip with a Robredo revisor is a violation of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel and the Canon of Judicial Ethics.

He believes the swimming party also points to a “conspiracy” between Abuyuan and the PET staff. 

“Protestant Marcos is obviously dismayed and tremendously demoralized by this incident. He is stunned that there appears to be a conspiracy between the camp of the protestee, represented by Abuyuan, and these PET personnel,” said Marcos. 

“Protestant Marcos cannot help but wonder if the ongoing judicial recount and revision proceeding is compromised given the ‘Pansol outing’ was attended by a number of PET personnel who appear to be in cahoots with the protestee’s camp,” he added.  

In the recounting of ballots for an electoral protest, revisors are tasked to determine if ballots are valid, rejected, or stray.

In the VP recount, each revision committee is composed of a PET head revisor and a party revisor each from the Marcos and Robredo camps. The party revisors claim ballots for their respective candidates during the recount.

‘Trivial incident’

Robredo’s legal counsel Romulo Macalintal, however, does not find anything anomolous in the swimming party.

The veteran election lawyer said the PET staff supposedly had invited both the Robredo and Marcos revisors to join the Laguna trip.

He claims the Marcos camp even sent food to the people who made it to the outing. Sought for comment, Garcia said they will “wait for the result of the investigation.”

“We don’t find anything wrong with the said event because all revisors from the Marcos and Robredo camps were invited by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal head revisors. In fact, we are wondering why they are even asking for an investigation when they sent food to the said event,” said Macalintal.  

For him, the PET staff and the Robredo revisor “should even be lauded” considering the reported “growing tensions” among the revisors during the recount process.  

“The PET should not be disturbed of its more important functions than be bothered by this trivial incident,” said Macalintal.

Read below the full copy of Marcos’ manifestation of grave concenr with extreme urgent motion to investigate:

 

Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.