Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo believed that “nothing spectacular” will come out of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) decryption and printing of ballots used in the 2016 elections.
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said “nothing spectacular is expected from this decryption. For we are confident that the results will tally with the results in the election returns and no substantial recovery will be made by Mr. (Bongbong) Marcos,” Macalintal said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
“No protest has ever won in the recount of ballots especially now that the PET affirmed the integrity of the 2016 automated election system when it dismissed the first cause of action of Marcos’ protest,” Macalintal added.
The Comelec on Monday started decrypting and printing ballot images from Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental, following the directive of the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
The son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos had sought the recount of ballots in 25 provinces nationwide, but particularly noted that Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental would clearly show the “major discrepancies” in the votes cast in the ballots and those transmitted by the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) and reported in the Certificates of Canvass (COCs).
READ: Comelec begins decryption, printing of ballot images in Marcos’ poll protest
While unsurprised, Robredo’s co-counsel Maria Bernadette Sardillo criticized Marcos’ camp for “peddling fake news” as he claimed that Robredo’s party had tried to postpone the scheduled decryption.
Sardillo said Robredo’s camp did not make such motion and Comelec’s records would prove what had transpired in the proceedings.
“In an unsurprising move, the camp of Mr. Marcos is once again peddling fake news, which can easily be belied by the Commission on Election’s official recording of the proceedings,” Sardillo said in a separate statement.
“We deny making such motion we have made no such motion and there was no attempt to delay the proceeding on our part. The official record of the proceedings will speak for itself,” she added.
In an earlier statement, Marcos’ spokesman, Victor Rodriguez said: “the counsels of former Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo initially tried to postpone the scheduled decryption reasoning that they only brought two revisors. But because of the strenuous opposition of the BBM (Bongbong Marcos) camp, who came prepared for the decryption as scheduled by the PET, the Comelec denied Robredo’s motion to postpone and proceeded with the decryption of the ballot images, beginning with Camarines Sur.”
Sardillo explained that they only send two revisors on Monday because they were not informed how many should be sent.
“We have always complied with all the orders of the PET and it is in the interest of the Vice President to resolve this case to further eliminate mind conditioning tactics Mr. Marcos is doing to the public,” she said.
Instead, Sardillo urged Marcos should “advise his lawyers to look promptly at their own submissions to the court and get their facts straight so they can say who has been causing delays in this case.”
“After all, who failed to comply and submit the names of witnesses despite being directed to do so?” /jpv
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