The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday slammed former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. for his alleged failure to abide by the agreements reached during the preliminary conference before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on July 11.
Robredo's lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Maria Bernadette Sardillo told the PET, which is composed of all 15 Supreme Court justices, that Marcos again did not indicate in his comment the precinct numbers and names of the witnesses for the three provinces he proposed for the pilot recount.
The PET required both camps to submit their comment to aid the tribunal in crafting the preliminary conference order, which aims to limit the "recount, revision and re-appreciation of the ballots" to the issues and witnesses that are the subject of Marcos' protest and Robredo's counter-protest.
“Instead, protestant Marcos made the same reservation as to the presentation of three registered voters in the Two Thousand Seven Hundred Fifty-Six (2,756) clustered precincts in the Provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan," the manifestation stated.
Marcos reportedly agreed to implead the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as a party in his first cause of action, which questions the integrity of the automated election system.
However, Robredo's camp said Marcos changed his mind and posed his objection to the Comelec’s inclusion in his protest.
Robredo's camp also disagreed with Marcos’ claim that his three causes of action complement each other, saying they are inconsistent with each other.
"For emphasis, the ballots cannot prove the allegations of protestant Marcos that the 09 May 2016 National and Local Elections for the position of Vice President was attended by massive vote-buying, substitution of voters and various irregularities committed by the BEIs [Board of Election Inspectors]," the manifestation read.
"Without the testimonial evidence or any other evidence, protestant Marcos has no cause of action to seek the recount, revision and re-appreciation of the ballots," it added.
Robredo's camp also said Marcos is using the poll protest "as a tool for publicity to advance his political agenda."
GMA News Online sought comment from Marcos' legal spokesperson Victor Rodriguez on Robredo's statement but he has yet to reply as of posting time.
Robredo beat Marcos by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 election, a result the former senator claimed was marred by fraud. — BM/KVD, GMA News