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PET gears up for Marcos-Robredo manual recount on April 2

The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), will proceed with the April 2 manual recount of ballots from 5,418 clustered precincts contested in the poll protest between former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo.

Members of the media on Tuesday were given an opportunity to enter the SC-Court of Appeals gymnasium, which has been converted into the main recount area called the Revision Hall.

PET adhoc committee member Atty. John Lemuel Arenas said the Revision Hall will house 40 out of the 50 required tables, each manned by three people -- the PET-hired head revisor, and one revisor each from the camps of Marcos and Robredo.

Arenas said the head revisors were hired after they applied, underwent interviews, a psychological exam, an aptitude test and a graded training program.

"The psych test was the one we had used on bias and prejudice. The psych test itself tests that," he said.

The recount will push through after at least two postponements, both of which Marcos or his lawyer claimed has been related to the "new" psychological test requirement.

Each Revision Committee, as the three-person panel is called, will handle the revision of one ballot box at a time within a prescribed time frame.

According to the PET Revisor's Guide, the revision aims to verify the physical count of the ballots, recount the votes of the parties, record objections or claims with respect to the ballots under revision, and mark the ballots objected to or claimed by the parties for examination by the PET.

The 1,400 ballot boxes from Camarines Sur, one of the three pilot provinces, will be the subject of the first day of recount on Monday.

The other two pilot provinces are Iloilo and Negros Oriental.

The CCTV-secured building will be guarded by at least five security personnel that the PET intends to augment within the coming weeks, said PET member Atty. Ma. Carina Cunanan.

Marcos and Robredo's camps will not be allowed to provide their own security, she said.

Arenas said the revision will take place on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and they will not release partial results. —ALG, GMA News