MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, April 5, to consider ballot ovals shaded by a minimum of 25% – not 50% based on outdated standards – as votes for her.
In a motion filed on Thursday, Robredo said this would prevent a "systematic decrease" in her votes, especially in her bailiwick of Camarines Sur, where the Robredos come from.
Robredo filed this motion before the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), at around 12:10 pm on Thursday.
The PET on Monday, April 2, began a recount of votes as former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, protests Robredo's victory in the 2016 elections.
On Thursday, lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Bernadette Sardillo told the PET on behalf of Robredo, "Surely, the application of the incorrect threshold, in this case fifty percent (50%), will only serve to disenfranchise the valid votes cast by a voter."
"Worse, the application of the fifty percent (50%) threshold percentage has resulted in and will result in a systematic decrease in the votes received by protestee Robredo since she overwhelmingly won in the province subject of the ongoing revision, recount, and re-appreciation of ballots," Robredo's lawyers added.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) itself implemented a 25% threshold percentage for the 2016 elections. This means that if a ballot oval is shaded by 25%, the vote-counting machine (VCM) will count it as a vote in the corresponding candidate's favor.
In the 2010 elections, the threshold percentage set by the Comelec was 50%.
The PET said it will follow this 50% threshold percentage in the recount of Robredo and Marcos' votes. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.