By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
For better “awareness” on the latest elections issuances, the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday urged the camp of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to “read up on election laws.”
Robredo’s legal consultant Atty. Emil Marañon III, in a radio interview, said Marcos’ camp lacks awareness about the current elections issuances by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) after the losing candidate claimed that the poll body’s position on the threshold percentage is “illegal.”
Marañon also noted that the Comelec has changed the threshold percentage several times in the past three elections. “Hindi naman po totoo na fixed iyong 50 percent threshold. Noong 2010 elections—iyong first automated elections natin – 50 percent po iyong si-net ng Comelec. But later on, noong 2013 elections, it was lowered to 20 percent, and in the last 2016 elections, inakyat to 25 percent,” he explained.
Earlier, Marcos’ spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez issued a statement noting that the Comelec decision to support Robredo’s argument to use a lower shading threshold in the vote recount is not only “illegal” but also “meant to justify” her “cheating.”
Marañon, meanwhile noted that Marcos’ camp reaction to the Comelec decision reflects the lack of awareness on the latest issuances on elections. “Anyone po na nagpa-practice po actually ng election law or familiar doon sa proseso sa Comelec would know na nagpapalit-palit iyong threshold, depende doon sa desisyon ng Comelec en banc,” he said.
Those who are claiming that the 50-percent threshold was the right percentage, Marañon said, should update their knowledge about election laws as it was last used in the 2010 elections. “Dapat po siguro mag-aral nang mabuti at magbasa-basa iyong mga resolutions ng Comelec para hindi sila nalilito,” he said.
Earlier, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) earlier allowed the use of the 50-perccent threshold for the manual recount in connection with the election protest filed by Marcos. However, Robredo’s camp filed a motion for reconsideration, saying that the Comelec set the threshold percentage to 25 percent in the 2016 elections.
Meanwhile, the Comelec recently submitted the manifestation before the PET affirming the use of the 25-percent threshold in the 2016 elections. The Comelec told the PET that the 25-percent threshold was used in the 2016 national and local elections and must be utilized in the election protest against Robredo.