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Leni asks PET to ignore Calida comment vs 25 percent threshold

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The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo asked the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to ignore Solicitor General Jose Calida’s position not to grant her petition to set at 25 percent the threshold of valid shaded ballots in the ongoing manual recount.

“Once more, in making this reckless conclusion, OSG has revealed to the Honorable Tribunal its lack of knowledge on the ongoing revision, recount and re-appreciation of ballots,” read the manifestation filed by her legal counsel, lawyer Romulo Macalintal.

Macalintal responded to the manifestation filed by Calida who asked the PET to maintain the 50 percent threshold and deny Robredo’s appeal to set it at 25 percent.

“At no instance has OSG, any of its representatives and/or lawyers, attended and observed the ongoing revision, recount and re-appreciation of ballots,” noted Macalintal.

The PET has already begun the manual recount of the 2016 vice presidential polls based on the electoral protest of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Though the Commission on Elections (Comelec) reminded voters to fully shade the ovals in the ballots, Macalintal pointed out there were still those who were not able to fully shade their ballots.

“In those instances where the ovals were not fully shaded but still met the 25-percent threshold percentage, the VCMs (vote counting machines) still read and counted the votes cast,” said Macalintal.

“Thus, to now disregard these valid votes previously read and counted by the VCMs will result to a massive disenfranchisement of voters,” he pointed out.

Robredo’s camp sought the 25 percent threshold due to concerns that a large amount of votes in her favor will be shaved off.