MANILA - The Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), junked a motion by former Senator Bongbong Marcos that challenged the authenticity of the Automated Election System in the 2016 elections.
In a resolution dated August 29, PET dismissed Marcos' first cause of action in his poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, calling it an "exercise in futility."
"Allowing the First Cause of Action to continue would be an exercise in futility and would have no practical effect," the high court said in its decision.
"Even if protestant succeeds in proving his first cause of action, this will not mean that he has already won the position of Vice President as this can only be determined by a manual recount of all votes in all precincts," it added.
Atty. Romulo Macalintal, lead lawyer of the Robredo camp, welcomed the tribunal's landmark decision.
"We are happy that a resolution was issued by the Supreme Court denying or dismissing Mr. Marcos' first cause of action," Macalintal said.
P2 billion from Marcos camp sought
In a motion filed Tuesday, the election lawyer meanwhile asked the tribunal to order Marcos to deposit P2 billion for the retention cost of the 92,509 vote counting machines and other equipment used in the 2016 polls.
"We asked the PET to immediately resolve our earlier and pending clarification whether Marcos should be held liable for the P2 Billion cost of the retention of said VCMs by the Comelec or a resolution be issued directing Marcos to deposit the said amount," Macalintal said.
PET earlier approved Marcos' motion for Comelec to keep the poll paraphernalia so these can be used for "technical examination, forensic investigation, verification and analysis."
Meanwhile, SC also junked Robredo's motion seeking partial dismissal of Marcos' poll protest for "lack of merit." It also also affirmed the sufficiency of form and substance of the said poll protest against the Vice President.
-- Report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News