The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has rescheduled the recount of votes of Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to April 2, the vice president's legal counsel said Wednesday.
The PET initially scheduled the recount on March 19 but had to push it to a later date "due to other preparations needed", Robredo's legal counsel, Romulo Macalintal, said in a statement.
The vote recount was reset "due to the lack of 8 more revisors," the Marcos camp said in a statement.
The PET informed the parties that only 42 revisors passed the new mandatory psychological evaluation, thus the need for 8 more to complete the required 50 vote revisors, a statement from the Marcos camp read.
Robredo declined to comment on the rescheduled recount but guaranteed that her camp will comply with the PET's rulings.
"Tinext ako nung aming mga abogado, 'yun kasi bawal na kami magsalita tungkol sa kaso. Pero aware na tayo sa postponement, kelangan pa yata ng PET ng more time to prepare. Tayo naman susunod, susunod tayo sa proseso," Robredo told reporters.
(My lawyers texted me to remind me that we cannot talk about the case. We are aware of the postponement. It seems that the PET needs more time to prepare. We will just abide by the process.)
The recount is expected to first cover votes from the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental, which were cited in Marcos' election protest against Robredo.
Votes from about 132,446 precincts are expected to be recounted because of Marcos' case, while Robredo’s camp pleaded to recount votes from 31,278 more precincts.
Marcos filed an election case against Robredo after he lost by 263,473 votes in the 2016 vice presidential race.
The former senator alleged that he lost to Robredo due to massive vote-buying, pre-shading of ballots, pre-loaded secure digital cards, misreading of ballots, malfunctioning vote-counting machines, a script change in the transparency server that allegedly altered the results in the VP race, and an “abnormally high” unaccounted votes for the position of vice-president.
The manual count will be held at the Supreme Court-Court of Appeals Gymnasium in Ermita, Manila.
- with a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News