SC spokesman Theodore Te disclosed that the PET has ruled to move the preliminary conference originally scheduled for June 21 to July 11. The court action happened despite an earlier appeal of Marcos for immediate proceedings and resolution of his election protest against Robredo’s victory as vice president in the 2016 polls.
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[VIDEO]: Mula June 21, gagawin na ito sa July 11. Pag-uusapan sa preliminary conference ang mga isyung tatalakayin ng Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Purpose of Preliminary Conference
It is in the 2010 Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal that after the filing of the last pleading, the tribunal shall order a preliminary conference to:
- obtain stipulations or admissions of facts and records to avoid unnecessary proof;
- simplify issues;
- limit the number of witnesses;
- expedite manner for the retrieval of ballot boxes containing the ballots, election returns, certificates of canvass and other election documents;
- aid in the prompt disposition of the election protest.
Marcos’ Resolution for Speedy Process
Marcos already asked the tribunal to designate three hearing commissioners ahead of the preliminary conference to expedite the proceedings. He requested for the decryption of ballot images from the clustered precincts of the 30 contested provinces subject of his poll protest and print the ballot image from the Secure Digital (SD) cards from the 36,465 protested clustered precincts in the contested areas before the preliminary conference.
The Supreme Court insists that their recent move is without prejudice to anyone in the case. They just address the many pending resolutions from both camps and Comelec. It is not explained, however, why there’s no response so far on Marcos’ urgent protest resolution. However, the imposed delays can’t be ignored anymore.
Supreme Court’s Priority
According to the SC Rule stated, SC should prioritize actions that would result in the urgent resolution of the election protest. What they are showing now seems to be the opposite. They give in to the Comelec and Robredo’s pleas to delay the process. Whatever the reason may be is irrelevant. They simply failed to assure the people that they are geared toward serving to the best of their ability to satisfy public interest.