By Raymund Antonio
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo and her rival, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., have to wait again for the official recount of votes after it was postponed by the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Robredo’s lawyer Bernadette Sardillo said the PET informed them about the postponement of the manual recount during their meeting last Tuesday.
“PET called for a meeting yesterday and informed us that the recount will be deferred to a later date as they continue to prepare the logistics of the recount,” said Sardillo.
The lady lawyer expects the PET to call for another meeting soon to finalize arrangements.
The PET earlier scheduled the start of the recount on March 19, but it was reset to April 2 after the Holy Week break.
Ballots to be recounted will include those from Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental – the three pilot provinces Marcos had chosen for the initial recount.
“We trust the PET in these proceedings as it is in our best interest to finish this protest to quash any doubt about the choice of the Filipino people and victory of Vice President Leni Robredo,” she said.
Robredo is battling Marcos, who has questioned the legitimacy of her electoral victory before the SC. She defeated the former senator on the 2016 polls by a slim margin of more than 260,000 votes.
Marcos contested 39,221 clustered precincts and sought the manual recount of votes in 36,445 precincts and annulment of the results in the remaining 2,756 precincts.
On the other hand, Robredo contested 8,042 clustered precincts, consisting of 31,278 established precincts, in her counter-protest.
The PET retrieval team already delivered the ballot boxes from Camarines Sur to the SC gymnasium in Manila, where the recount will be held.
However, the ballot retrieval schedules for Iloilo and Negros Oriental remain unclear.
The PET’s resolution issued on February 13 and signed by SC clerk Felipa B. Anama only stated that it allowed lawyer Linuel Alindogan, head of the retrieval team, and its members to travel to Iloilo and Negros Oriental from February 22-26 and Feb. 27-March 3, respectively.