The recount of the 2016 vice presidential votes is expected to begin mid-August after the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, decided to push through with former Senator Bongbong Marcos' electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
"The collection of boxes will hopefully start by mid-August so we can end by the end of September," Atty. George Erwin Garcia, Marcos's chief legal counsel, said in a press conference.
Garcia said ballot boxes from Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental will first be opened for the recount.
"We were so sure that irregularities were present in these areas. Let's open the ballot boxes so we can find out the truth," Garcia said.
Marcos questioned the authenticity of Robredo's win after he lost to the Bicolana lawmaker by 263,400 votes. Robredo has repeatedly denied claims of cheating and maintained that she won the post fair and square.
The Marcos camp wants to prove that there were about 3.9 million missing votes for the position of vice president.
Garcia said the contested ballots in the first three provinces alone "may be" enough to win against Robredo, Garcia said.
The Presidential Electoral Tribunal decided to proceed with the electoral protest on Tuesday after Marcos paid in full the amount required for the cost of retrieval of contested poll materials.
"We are very happy that the process has begun hindi lamang nagsimula, but it looks like the tribunal has made some anticipatory moves to prepare the revision," Marcos said in a press conference.
"Pinakitaan na kami ng gym kung san gagawin yung pagbilang. Pinasukat na din ng mga justice kung ilang mesa ang ilalagay, saan ilalagay ang mga ballot boxes. Interesado din sila na makita na kung ano ang nangyare sa mga boto," he added.
FISHING FOR EVIDENCE?
Garcia denied accusations that they were just trying to squeeze out evidence, without knowing exactly where to look.
"Fishing for evidence, e 'yung evidence namin nasa loob ng kahon kaya kailangan namin buksan yung kahon," he said.
The Marcos camp also thanked the electoral tribunal for setting aside pending issues raised by Robredo's lawyers.
"The tribunal is hell bent in proceeding with the issue... Nagproceed na despite other camp's effort to delay," Garcia said.
"They will resolve the pending incidents but tuloy-tuloy na ang preliminary conference," he added.
In the course of the hearings, the Marcos camp will also divulge more about a supposed "secret server" that may have violated other election laws.