MANILA - It would not be possible for the camp of former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr to recover sufficient votes to his favor in the recount of the ballots for his electoral protest, a lawyer for Vice President Leni Robredo said Friday.
With the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal upholding the 25-percent shading threshold, the process will now be a "mere recount of the ballots," said lawyer Romulo Macalintal.
No electoral protest hinging on a recount has prospered since the country shifted to automated elections in 2010, he told ANC's Headstart.
If the Marcos camp retrieves about 20,000 votes from Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental to his favor, that would have been "sufficient" to prove that "there’s a possibility for him to recover the 260,000 lead of Robredo," said Macalintal.
Asked if it would still be possible for the Marcos camp to do this, Macalintal said: "It is not possible because the machines experienced in other electoral protests involving other municipalities yielded the same results when physical count of the ballot were made."
But Vic Rodriguez, lawyer for Marcos, said their protest is the "only election case in the history of automation that ever reached the phase where ballot boxes are actually opened, ballots manually recounted and election documents inspected."
"We are now down to the last pilot province of Negros Oriental then the case will be submitted for decision of the Court En Banc. As usual, Mang Romy is feeding the people with his inaccurate, untruthful and self-serving narratives again," he said in a statement sent to ANC.
Macalintal said when the recount was done on the basis of the 50-percent shading threshold as previously held by the PET, some 20,000 votes were "set aside" and were contested by the Marcos side.
"We are very confident now that all this could be given back to the Vice President. Kaya kami, wala na kaming problema sa election protest na ‘yan," he said.
"We will just let it go at bahala nang pag matapos yung hanggang Negros Oriental at Iloilo, at least could just tell the people na talagang it will just confirm the victory of the Vice President," he added.
Marcos, son and namesake of the late dictator, lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes, making the 2016 vice-presidential race the tightest in recent Philippine history. He had alleged that various irregularities led to his defeat.