'Roxas poll protest sufficient in form, substance'
MANILA, Philippines - Defeated vice-presidential bet Manuel Roxas's petition questioning the results of the May 2010 vice-presidential race is sufficient in form and substance, the Supreme Court said Monday.
In a press briefing, SC Spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said the High Court, which sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, will be sending summons to Vice-President Jejomar Binay to file a comment within 10 days upon receipt of summons.
Marquez said the complaint was raffled off last Friday but added he is not in a position to say to whom it went.
He said if Binay does not file a counter protest, a preliminary conference will be called.
Binay's lawyer, JV Bautista, meanwhile, said the SC resolution giving due course to Roxas's protest "is a matter of procedure. It does not give credence to the allegations made in the protest."
He added that Binay has not received a copy of the protest "but his lawyers believe it involves the same allegations during the canvassing that are bereft of merit."
In his petition, Roxas asked the PET to consider close to 3 million null votes that were not counted by the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in the May election. He said the null votes could easily erase the 727,084-vote margin of winning vice-presidential bet Binay in the election.
Null votes were not counted because the ballots were incorrectly shaded or because more than one oval was shaded for an elective position.
Roxas also requested the PET to order an independent forensic examination of 26,000 compact flash cards used in the May polls, as well as the source code of the PCOS machines.