MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has set the start of the manual recount of votes for the election protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. against Vice-President Leni Robredo on March 19.
Marcos and Robredo’s camps confirmed the recount will first cover Marcos’ pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.
The manual count will be held at the SC-Court of Appeals Gymnasium on Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila.
Marcos lost to Robredo in the May 2016 vice-presidential race by 263,473 votes.
His election protest alleges that there was 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/undervotes for the position of vice-president.
Robredo has a pending counter-protest case against Marcos, also with the PET.
Marcos’ protest covers 132,446 precincts, while Robredo’s counter-protest covers 31,278 precincts.
On Wednesday, Robredo's camp signed a motion to withdraw all pending pleadings before the PET to avoid delays in the recount.
Marcos, on the other hand, signed a manifestation to withdraw pending motions and not to file more pleas to avoid possible delays.