Bongbong notes 'irregularities' in first day of VP vote recount

Tribunal to start 2016 VP race votes review

The PET has earlier required Marcos to pay P66 million and Robredo P15 million in two tranches to fund their protests and counter-protests.

The tedious recount will happen inside a gymnasium in the Supreme Court compound in Manila.

Almost 10 months since Marcos filed the petition, the PET agreed to start its manual recount of ballot boxes from Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.

The vote recount Marcos sought will first cover the pilot areas of his protest: the provinces of Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental and Iloilo, all known bailiwicks of Robredo, the PET had said.

The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), begins today the manual recount of votes cast in three provinces for the vice presidential race in 2016, the results of which were contested by former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Marcos said the missing audit logs reinforced suspicion over the conduct of the elections given the recent revelations of Sen. They couldn't tell where those audit logs went.

Audit logs for most of the precincts were missing, he said, and he had seen a ballot box with a hole sealed with masking tape.

He pointed out that audit logs in 38 ballot boxes are very important as they contain the transactions made in a precinct.

He said: "Audit log is a record of when the VCM (vote counting machine) is opened, when the ballot was inserted, when the votes were transmitted to the server, and when the VCM was again closed. But nearly all the logs there in that town are missing".

Forty revision committees have been formed to do the recount.

For the camp of Robredo, the wet ballots were normal and nothing to worry about.

Macalintal also said the punctured ballot box found at the start of the recount could have been damaged after being thrown around by handlers in the PET warehouse. "These ballot boxes will be retrieved later for the revision".

He said the ballots got wet during a typhoon last December.

"Sa kasaysayan ng ating automated election system, wala pang nananalong protesta sa halalan mula pa noong 2010", Macalintal said.

Malacañang on Monday welcomed the start of the recount of votes in the 2016 vice-presidential race. At the same time, the party representatives will be allowed to claim and object to ballots, as they deem necessary.

Under the 2010 PET Rules, the revision shall be limited to three pilot provinces, as selected by the protestant.

With Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno on indefinite leave, Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio is the acting chief justice and acting head of the PET.

Robredo, widow of the late secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government under then president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, defeated Marcos by a narrow margin of more than 260,000 votes in the May 2016 polls.

Supports of Marcos are also gearing up for the recount. The two cases have already been consolidated by the PET.

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