Four head revisors in the manual vote recount between former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo have quit a day after the repeat tabulation kicked off on Monday.
This was confirmed by Marcos lawyer Vic Rodriguez and Robredo lawyer Maria Bernadette Sardillo on Tuesday. No reason was cited for the head revisors' stepping down, he said.
"Worth asking why, considering that these are highly qualified people chosen no less by the PET (Presidential Electoral Tribunal) and underwent a rigid [psychological] test," Rodriguez said in a text message.
For her part, Sardillo said: "It is unfortunate as this will once more cause delay in the proceedings."
A head revisor, an employee of the Supreme Court sitting as the PET, leads the three-person revision committee, which is in charge of recounting the contested ballots and recording objections by either Marcos or Robredo's representatives.
There were 40 head revisors at the start of the recount on Monday. With four having stepped down according to Rodriguez, the PET is 14 head revisors short of its target of 50.
Marcos had previously blamed recount postponements to a "new" requirement for the head revisors: a psychological exam, which according to PET ad hoc committee member John Lemuel Arenas tested bias and prejudice.
All head revisors are college graduates, some of whom had prior experience in the Senate and the House of Representatives counterparts of the PET, said Arenas.
The current Marcos-Robredo vote recount covers 5,418 clustered precincts from the former senator's pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.
The results of these proceedings will determine whether or not Marcos' protest will proceed with his remaining 31,047 contested clustered precincts.
On the first day of the recount, Marcos hinted at anomalies over the issue of wet ballots and "missing" audit logs from one Camarines Sur town, a suspicion that was shot down by Robredo's lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, as "fake news." — MDM/KG, GMA News