The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday insisted that the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), should first resolve the issue on the integrity and legitimacy of automated election system (AES) as raised by former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in his poll protest.
Robredo, through her legal counsels Romulo Macalintal and Maria Bernadette Sardillo, stated in a Manifestation and Comment on the Preliminary Conference Guide that she is "open to impleading the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to prove the integrity of the AES."
"During the Preliminary Conference, protestant Marcos confirmed that his First Cause of Action be resolved first by the Honorable Tribunal,” Macalintal said.
Marcos raised with the PET the "flawed" AES, the failure of elections in several provinces in Mindanao, and the unauthorized introduction by Smartmatic's Marlon Garcia of a new script into the transparency server on the day of the elections.
Robredo's camp said that Marcos' claim of "system-wide vulnerability would have a sweeping effect on a national scale" so this would extend to all 92,509 clustered precincts that functioned in the 2016 national and local elections.
"This is prejudicial to his other claims of annulment and revision for 39,221 clustered precincts out of the 92,509," Robredo's camp said in a press release.
"Kung kinukuwestiyon ni Mr. Marcos ang integridad ng automated elections, kinukuwestiyon din niya ang pagkapanalo ni G. Duterte, ang mga Senador at ang iba pang pagkapanalo ng mga lokal na opisyal,” Macalintal said.
Sardillo in a separate Compliance and Comment document asked the PET "to first resolve Marcos’ question on AES before taking prior custody of the ballot boxes and its contents, other election documents and paraphernalia, and data storage from the provinces of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)."
Macalintal earlier accused Marcos as "merely fishing for evidence" in his poll protest, as he changed his three pilot provinces.
Robredo's camp said Marcos should not have been allowed to make any changes as stated under the 2010 Rules of the PET.
Meanwhile, the PET has granted the request of Robredo for an extension of her deadline to pay the remaining P7.43 million to process her election counter protest against Marcos. — BAP, GMA News