VP Leni Robredo’s lawyer, Atty. Bernadette Sardillo stresses that prior to the recount, the first cause of Bongbong Marcos’ election protest must be resolved beforehand. Since Marcos said that he is willing to accept the consequence should the entire 2016 election ends up to be generally fraudulent, this should be the priority and not the recount. That could mean that the Presidency can be vacant if Marcos insists on his victory, Sardillo said.
Youtube video from; Rappler
[VIDEO]: Interview with VP Leni Robredo’s lawyer Beng Sardillo after preliminary conference brief on the election protest.
One Certificate of Canvass
Sardillo explained that there’s only one certificate of canvass of the VP and President posts. This cannot be separated, she said. However, Marcos’ lawyer Atty. Vic Rodriguez answered that the slim margin of over 200,000 votes of Robredo over Marcos and the huge gap between the President’s vote and Mar Roxas which is more than 3 million votes is incomparable.
3 Causes of Action
Marcos listed three causes of action in his protest. The first is the automated election system or AES. Marcos said that the vote-counting machines or VCM supplied by Smartmatic and contracted by the Commission on Elections or Comelec has no “demonstrated capability.” It is never successfully used in a prior electoral exercise either in the Philippines or elsewhere.
The second part of the Marcos is more “traditional” that refers to modes of cheating, Vote-buying, pre-shading, intimidation, and failure of elections, and the likes. Marcos specifically asks for the reopening of ballot boxes in each of the 36,465 clustered precincts. These include Cebu, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Masbate, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon, and Iloilo. Then Bohol, Quezon, Batangas, Western Samar, Misamis Oriental, Camarines Sur. Second district of Northern Samar, Palawan, Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Occidental, and Pangasinan. Plus Isabela, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City and Zamboanga City.
Marcos also asks the PET to annul the election results in Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao where the ballots were allegedly pre-shaded, and a recount of those from 22 provinces and five cities. The third part of the protest focuses on the alleged unauthorized introduction by a Smartmatic technician of a new hash code. This is the application of a new script or program into the transparency server. That can be the culprit of the drastic elimination of Marcos’ one million lead over Robredo, the night of the election. They claim that the end results are the products of the unauthorized change.