The Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, will next month start the recount of the votes cast in Iloilo province for the vice presidential race in 2016.
The PET is expected to complete next week its manual recount of the votes in Camarines Sur, one of the three pilot provinces covered by the election protest filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Marcos filed his protest on June 29 2016, claiming Robredo cheated in the automated polls in the May 2016 national elections.
Robredo won the vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes, or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.
The tribunal has ordered the retrieval of the ballots in 2,740 clustered precincts in Iloilo by the retrieval team led by lawyer Linuel Alindogan.
The tribunal also ordered its ad hoc committee to set the schedule of the delivery of the ballot boxes and poll materials to the designated staging area.
It required all city and municipal treasurers and election officers to deliver the ballot boxes to the PET retrieval team at the designated staging area at a warehouse in Jaro in Iloilo City.
The PET also directed the Senate Electoral Tribunal to deliver to the venue of the recount the ballot boxes and election records from the municipalities of Oton, Barbara, Dumangas and Iloilo City.
However, it was reported that the PET had already instructed its team not to include the ballot boxes from Iloilo City in the retrieval as it agreed with the contention of Robredo’s camp that the city was independent and not part of Iloilo province.
The PET also set the security arrangement for the retrieval of the ballots and ordered the Iloilo Provincial Police Office to “provide adequate security and escorts when the ballot boxes are transported for delivery from municipalities and cities.”
It likewise authorized the Philippine Postal Office as the official carrier for Manila.
The PET also approved the expenses for the retrieval of ballots from Iloilo totaling to P8,714,930.27.