Vice President Leni Robredo's lead counsel on Thursday challenged former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos to withdraw the electoral protest if his camp's claim of "massive fraud" is not proven.
In a strongly-worded statement, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal also said Marcos' lawyer should give up his license to the Supreme Court if their allegation is found to be untrue.
The challenge came after Marcos' camp, through lawyer and spokesman Vic Rodriguez, claimed that "massive fraud was indeed committed in the last elections," after data was seen in at least 13 of 26 SD cards during the decrypting or unlocking process at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office last Monday.
He called on Marcos to "enter into a written agreement" for this.
"I believe this is the best and most suitable way to put an end to this controversy and for the entire electorate and the Filipino people to find out who is telling the truth—Marcos or Robredo—regarding the alleged data found on these 13 SD cards," he said.
He also said that "they should apologize to the Filipino people once it is shown and proved that their statement, like a vagrant, had no visible means of legal or factual support as they are baseless and clearly self-serving."
Macalintal said he is also willing to give up his license to practice law and quit as Robredo's lead counsel, if it is proven that the fraud caused Marcos to lose by a little over 200,000 votes.
Macalintal called on their opponent's camp to file with them joint manifestation before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which aims to suspend the verification of the SD cards "until such agreement is signed by the parties."
These SD cards were among the 127 pieces found to have data during the stripping of 1,356 backup VCMs, units which Robredo's camp had pointed out are not even part of the protest Marcos lodged before the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
Macalintal said they nevertheless agreed to the said examination "for purposes of transparency and to prove that Robredo is not hiding anything nor is she afraid to face Marcos" in the protest.
He added that it was "highly ridiculous, if not outright frivolous" for the Marcos camp to feel "as if they had already won the election" with the said development because the exact contents have yet to be determined.
Earlier, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said it would be "most prudent" to just wait for the result of the decrypting process, saying the statements made "appear to be speculative and are, unsurprisingly, consistent with their theory."
He said no timeline has been set for the completion of the process, the results of which will then be forwarded to the PET. — RSJ, GMA News