Marcos' prayer for PPO, granted; Robredo requested by PET
The Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on Tuesday, August 2, has released a statement which grants Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ prayer for a precautionary protective order (PPO) to Commission on Election (COMELEC) and at the same time, issues a summon to Protestee Leni Robredo .
The PPO which was petitioned by Marcos from the tribunal in relation to his electoral protest invoked Rule 36 of the 2010 PET Rules.
Rule 36 of the PET Rules says:
“Where the allegations in a protest so warrant, the Tribunal shall, simultaneous with the issuance of summons, order the municipal treasurer and election officer, and the responsible personnel and custodian to take immediate steps or measures to safeguard the integrity of all the ballot boxes and their contents, lists of voters with voting records, books of voters and other documents or paraphernalia used in the election, as well as data storage devices containing electronic data evidencing the conduct and the results of elections in the contested precincts.” This details the steps to be undertaken “to safeguard the integrity” of all the paraphernalia used in the elections. This includes all functioning clustered precincts in the country as well as the collection, retrieval, transport, and delivery of the paraphernalia, storage devices, and equipment.
Also covered in Marcos’ urgent manifestation and omnibus motion is the preservation of the integrity and safety of all the ballots, ballot boxes, voters’ receipts, election returns (ERs), computerized voters’ list, audit logs, transmission results, log files and other documents and paraphernalia – including the vote counting machines (VCMs), consolidation and canvass system (CCS), digital cards and other electronic data and ballot image storage devices, and other related equipment – used in the May 2016 elections. According to the statement, the manifestation which was acted upon in the PET’s session on Tuesday, July 12, part of the electoral protest filed by Marcos’ camp on July 28, which contests the proclamation of Leni Robredo as the duly elected vice-president on two grounds.
According to Atty. George Erwin Garcia, Marcos’ counsel who filed the electoral protest, the protest claims that Robredo’s vice-presidential proclamation is “null and void because the [certificates of canvass] generated by the CCS are not authentic, and may not be used as the basis to determine the number of votes that the candidates for vice-president received.”
The protest also noted that the vice-presidential race had been subjected to “massive electoral fraud, anomalies, and irregularities… and an abnormally high” unaccounted votes/undervotes for the position of VP.” Also included in the statement released by PET is the “issuance of an official Summons on the protestee, Ma. Leonor Robredo,” which requires her to “file an Answer to the protest” in 10 days from its receipt.