The Supreme Court (SC) sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) will start the preliminary conference on the election protest of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday.
The PET set the preliminary conference after requiring both Marcos and Robredo to pay cash deposits of P66.02 million and P15.44 million for their respective protest and counter-protest.
The preliminary conference was originally scheduled on June 21 but the tribunal decided to re-scheduled on July 11.
Marcos is contesting the results of 36,465 clustered precincts in 30 provinces and cities all over the country citing fraud under three main issues in his protest, namely the “flawed” Automated Election System (AES), the failure of elections in several provinces in Mindanao and the unauthorized introduction by Smartmatic’s Marlon Garcia of a new hash code (or a new script / program) into the Transparency Server on the day of the elections.
Marcos earlier said he decided to file the electoral protest due to the series of frauds, anomalies and irregularities that marred the May 9 elections and that such activities made sure he would lose to Robredo, the vice presidential candidate of the administration’s Liberal Party.
Robredo won the 2016 vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos who got 14,155,344 votes.
In his protest, Marcos contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.
Last June 14, the PET granted the urgent motion filed by Marcos to designate at least three hearing officers who will assist the Tribunal during the preliminary conference on his election protest against Robredo.
In a six-page resolution signed by Felipa B. Anama, Clerk of Tribunal, PET appointed retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose C. Vitug as the chairperson of the panel of commissioners. His members are Atty. Angelito C. Imperio and Atty. Irene Ragodon-Guevarra.
“The commissioners shall decide unanimously to every extent possible, provided that in the event of failure to reach a unanimous decision, the majority decision shall prevail,” the PET resolution stated.
The PET said the chairperson shall receive a compensation of P15,000 per day of hearing or service while the members shall receive a P10,000 per day of hearing or service.
(Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/PNA)