No PET vote yet on BBM protest

October 03, 2019

CHIEF Justice Lucas Bersamin yesterday clarified that the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has yet to vote on the electoral protest of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“There is no definite voting yet or anything that happened in that particular case,” Bersamin told reporters in a chance interview during the National Summit on Dangerous Drugs Law at the historic Manila Hotel.

Bersamin issued the statement when he was asked to comment on a report that PET voted 8-6 in favor of the son of former president Marcos.

Bersamin, who will mandatorily retire this coming October 18, disclosed that while justice-in-charge Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa has submitted his report, PET members however have yet to deliberate on it.

“There may be already deliberation, you know there are several parts of that case and the rumor that there is already a report, whether that is true or not will not necessarily mean we will terminate the deliberations,” he explained.

Robredo won the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.

But in his protest, Marcos contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.

He named three provinces where he can supposedly prove that irregularities marred the conduct of the 2016 national and local elections.

The Marcos’ pilot provinces are Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental, and Iloilo.

The PET is expected to decide whether the pilot recount, involving ballots from the three provinces, was enough to affirm Robredo’s victory, or if results showed a basis to proceed to reviewing ballots from additional provinces – meaning substantial discrepancy was uncovered in the first batch of provinces.