THE Supreme Court sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal yesterday issued a precautionary order directing the Commission on Elections and other concerned agencies to collect and secure all necessary documents and devices pertinent to the election protest that former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos filed against his rival Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a two-page resolution dated July 12 but officially released only yesterday, the PET granted Marcos’ prayer in his election protest that was filed last June 29 for the issuance of a precautionary order.
Likewise, the PET issued summons directing Robredo to answer Marcos’ election protest within 10 days.
Prior to the release of the PET resolution, Marcos yesterday filed a motion before the SC asking the PET to act on his prayer for a precautionary order.
Marcos said the issuance of precautionary order is mandated under Rule 36 of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) Rules.
The provision allows PET to take immediate measures to safeguard the integrity of all the ballot boxes and their contents and other documents related to the election protest.
Marcos lamented that the Supreme Court acting as PET had yet to take such precautionary steps since he filed his election protest last June 29.
The PET’s precautionary order requires the Comelec to “preserve and safeguard” all the ballot boxes and their contents; the lists of voters, particularly the Election Day Computerized Voter’s List (EDCVL), and voters registration records (VRRs), and the books of voters; audit logs, transmission logs, and all log files; and all other documents or paraphernalia used in the elections, including the automated election equipment and records such as the Vote Counting Machines (VCM), Consolidation and Canvass System (CCS) units, Secure Digital (SD) cards (main and back up), and the other data storage devices containing electronic data an ninety 92,509 clustered precincts that were used during the 9 May 2016 National and Local Elections.
In his election protest Marcos sought the nullification of the proclamation of Robredo as duly elected vice president of the country as this was a result of massive electoral frauds committed to ensure her victory
Marcos is specifically contesting the election results in 39,221 clustered precincts in 25 provinces and five highly urbanized cities all over the country
The former senator pointed out that through a series of electoral frauds, anomalies and irregularities, people behind the whole operation made sure that Robredo would win and that Marcos’ votes would be reduced.
Marcos explained that his petition has three parts – the first is the “flawed” Automated Election System [AES]; the second consists of the more “traditional” modes of cheating like vote buying, pre-shading, intimidation and failure of elections, among others; and the third focuses on the unauthorized introduction by Smartmatic’s Marlon Garcia of a new hash code (or a new script / program) into the Transparency Server as well as the effects brought about by the unauthorized change.
The case has reportedly been raffled to Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, last appointee of former President Aquino to the high court.