The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday insisted that former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. knew of and even sent food to an out-of-town swimming trip he is now questioning before the Supreme Court, which is sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
In a counter-manifestation, Robredo's lawyers asked the PET to release CCTV footage supposedly showing a Marcos staff member "leaving a bag of snacks" at the 4th floor of the revision venue in Manila before the June 22 outing at a pool resort in Barangay Pansol, Calamba City, Laguna.
In response, Marcos' spokesman, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, challenged Robredo to produce "authentic" footage "and not another product of her many lies."
Crying "conspiracy" and impropriety, Marcos asked the PET earlier this week to investigate the outing, which was joined by two dozen PET employees in charge of the recount procedure on a daily basis and at least one party revisor — a person hired to claim or object to ballots being re-appreciated — from the Robredo team.
But Robredo's lead lawyer quickly shot down the allegation, saying revisors from both her and Marcos' camps were invited and that Marcos even sent food to the swimming trip.
On Wednesday's filing, her lawyers claimed there was already an ongoing PET investigation on the outing even before Marcos asked for one, prompting Emil Marañon, one of her counsel, to call the move a "PR stunt."
"Finally, an investigation has already been conducted where some of the personalities involved were already meted with penalties," Robredo's counter-manifestation stated.
"Protestant Marcos conveniently omitted these facts in order to suit his narrative that he was a victim during the 09 May 2016 National and Local Elections," it added.
"Thus, if only to confirm that the revisors of protestant Marcos were not only aware, but even donated snacks to the outing, the CCTV footage must be released."
Marañon also said the one revisor from Robredo's team that joined the outing did so in a "personal capacity," unsanctioned by his employers.
"Had we known it, we would not have allowed it to happen," he told reporters in a mix of English and Filipino.
Rodriguez had earlier maintained their team did not know of the outing until they saw photos of the event uploaded to Facebook.
"Her claim that we know of her sponsored pool party and even sent food is a big lie," he said on Tuesday.
"We have shown pictures of how she has corrupted PET Head Revisors and pictures don't lie. To date all she has are alibis and more lies. Huling huli na nagpapalusot pa," he said in a text message on Wednesday.
The fracas over the outing is among the latest publicized subjects in connection with the closed-door manual recount of votes for vice president from three provinces — Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental — in the 2016 elections.
Marcos is challenging Robredo's allegedly fraud-marred victory in the election of two years ago, where he lost to the former congresswoman by over 260,000 votes. —KBK/KG, GMA News