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PET allows Robredo to secure copies of ballot images

The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has allowed Vice President Leni Robredo to secure copies of the ballot images in connection with the recount being sought by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. regarding the results of the May 2016 elections.

Robredo’s motion was granted by the tribunal on November 7, the same day Marcos filed his opposition to the vice president’s plea.

No reason was given by the PET why it granted Robredo’s request to be furnished soft copies of the ballots and reports from the decrypted secure digital (SD) cards from the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental, the three pilot provinces designated by Marcos for his election protest.

“We welcome the PET’s decision because it will provide us with additional blanket of security to the votes received by VP Leni as they decrypt the contents of the SD cards,” said Robredo’s legal counsel Romulo Macalintal.

Robredo’s camp added they can now coordinate with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the procedure and supplies needed for the soft copies.

GMA News Online has yet to receive a comment from Marcos’ camp as of posting time.

In justifying her request, Robredo said the Comelec assured parties during the start of the decryption process on October 23 that it will provide soft copies provided that the PET will give its consent.

“Thus, it would be for the benefit of the parties that they be allowed to secure the soft copies of the ballot images and other reports from the decrypted secure digital cards to protect their rights and interests in this election protest,” the motion stated.

Marcos, however, said Robredo did not contribute any share in the expenses and supplies, thus she should not be allowed by the PET to obtain the soft and even printed copies of the decrypted images of the ballots, election returns, audit logs and other relevant documents for all the protested clustered precincts of the pilot provinces.

The former senator said he was the one who paid for the cost of decryption and printing of ballot images from the pilot provinces amounting to P2,974,075.

Marcos lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes in last year’s vice presidential race which the former senator claimed was marred by fraud. — RSJ, GMA News