Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal (File photo by JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS / INQUIRER.net)
The ballot recount requested by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is expected to start on the second week of February this coming year, according to Romulo Macalintal, lawyer of Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a statement on Monday, Macalintal said the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), would start collecting the ballots in Camarines Sur on Jan. 22.
“We estimate the recount to start on the second week of February 2018,” Macalintal said. “PET does not have enough space to house ballot boxes from Iloilo and Negros Oriental, kaya one at a time muna starting with Camarines Sur.”
In his electoral protest, Marcos chose three pilot provinces – Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental – explaining that these would be the “best provinces” where he could prove his allegation of electoral fraud in the vice presidential race.
“Estimated expenses for the collection of ballots in Camarines Sur alone is P9.6 million chargeable against Marcos deposit,” Macalintal said, adding that the amount will cover compensation and allowances of personnel and security, and cost of transport and for contingencies.
In an ambush interview at the SC on Monday, Macalintal expressed confidence that the recount would push Marcos’s electoral protest towards dismissal.
“Kami ay naniniwala na ito ay patungo na sa pagkaka-dismiss ni Mr. Marcos sapagkat wala pang nananalo sa recount sa isang election protest,” Macalintal told reporters.
“Kulang kulang 500 na ang election protest ang nangyari sa bansa past automated elcetion 2010, 2013, 2016 election,” he added. “Sa mga recount, wala pang nanalo sa protesta sa recount sapagkat sa pagkaka-recount ng mga balota ay pareho lamang sa resulta ng mga makina.” /atm
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