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Marcos camp hits ‘secretive’ PET probe on questioned Laguna outing

The camp of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. on Friday maintained it was not made aware of the Supreme Court's (SC) already wrapped-up "surreptitious" probe of an "illegal" outing involving a vote recount staff hired by Vice President Leni Robredo.

The SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has recently junked a Marcos motion to have the "highly improper" Laguna outing investigated because it had already finished doing so.

Marcos' spokesman, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, said they were "completely surprised and quite shocked" by the development, adding the former senator ought to have been notified on the details of the apparently completed probe.

"The fact that we filed the Manifestation clearly indicates all of these - the illegal Pansol outing, the purported surreptitious investigation, the highly secretive penalty imposed — happened without our knowledge," Rodriguez said in a statement.

The vice president's lawyers have earlier said the PET had carried out an  investigation — and meted penalties — even before Marcos asked for one. A notice of resolution obtained Friday confirmed their claim.

That Robredo knew this meant she has "unbridled access" to information "ordinarily available only to an insider," Marcos' spokesman said.

"Mrs. Robredo's inside information confirms our earlier submission that she has already infiltrated some revisors of the PET at the expense not only of Sen. Marcos' election protest but the entire Filipino people who are tirelessly waiting to know the truth on who really won the vice presidential elections," he said.

The Robredo camp claimed both parties knew of the investigation.

One of the latest to emerge from the vote recount involving Marcos and Robredo, this issue stemmed from 24 PET personnel and one Robredo party revisor - people hired for the task - going swimming at a pool resort in Pansol, Laguna last month.

Marcos said this was "prohibited" and hit the appearance of a "conspiracy" between the Robredo camp and the PET personnel.

Robredo's team countered that Marcos knew of the outing, to which even his own revisors were invited, and that he even sent food for the event.

Robredo and Marcos are locked in a high-profile election protest that involves a manual recount, revision and re-appreciation of ballots from 5,418 clustered precincts in an initial three provinces: Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.

The recount results from these areas will determine whether Marcos' protest challenging Robredo's victory in the 2016 polls will proceed with the remaining 31,047 protested clustered precincts. — MDM, GMA News