Marcos drops witnesses for poll fraud claims in 36,465 clustered precincts

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr is no longer planning to present testimonial evidence or witnesses to support his allegations of cheating in 36,465 clustered precincts. 

Marcos' lawyer George Garcia told this to the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), in a counter-manifestation dated September 5. Rappler obtained a copy of the document on Thursday, September 14. (READ: TIMELINE: Marcos-Robredo election case)

Garcia said Marcos will no longer present witnesses for this part of his petition because their allegations of electoral fraud against Vice President Leni Robredo can best be proven through a ballot recount.

The lawyer then mentioned several SC rulings to argue that "evidence of irregularities is not necessary to justify the revision of ballots." (READ: VP electoral protest 'exactly where we wanted it to be' – Marcos camp

According to Garcia, dropping the presentation of witnesses in the 36,465 clustered precincts does not mean they are abandoning their allegations of widespread cheating in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao. Marcos wants votes nullified in these 3 provinces. (READ: 2016 Bongbong vs Leni poll protest: What ARMM 'election fingerprints' say)

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 or tweet @maracepeda.