Marcos vs Robredo: Understanding the unfinished battle for the vice presidency

Cass Buenafe and Kennedy Caacbay, ABS-CBN Investigative & Research Group

Posted at Oct 01 2019 02:51 AM | Updated as of Oct 01 2019 05:30 PM

MANILA- (UPDATE) The Supreme Court may decide on losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday.

Marcos had claimed "massive cheating" caused him to lose to Robredo in the 2016 vice-presidential race by some 260,000 votes, which she denied. 

WHAT MARCOS WANTS TO HAPPEN

In his electoral protest filed on June 29, 2016—a day before Robredo was sworn into office—Marcos asked the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, for the following:

1. to declare Robredo's victory as null and void

2. to conduct a recount of ballots in all of the 36,465 protested clustered precincts in 27 cities and provinces.

3. to declare the election results in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan as null on the grounds of terrorism, intimidation, and harassment of voters.

In the 27 areas protested by Marcos, official election results show that Robredo won by a margin of nearly 3 million votes. Robredo had 6,870,903 votes compared to Marcos' 3,908,688 votes.

Of the 27 areas protested, Robredo won in 23, while only 4 provinces favored Marcos.

With his electoral protest, Marcos was allowed to designate 3 provinces which best exemplify election fraud for the manual recount which would serve as the basis on whether the tribunal would proceed with the recount on all protested areas.

Marcos chose the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental—for the physical revision or recount. 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

If the recount in the 3 pilot provinces fails to show that a "substantial" number of votes for Marcos were not counted, his electoral protest will be junked. Marcos, though, can still file for a motion for reconsideration.

However, if the recount in the 3 pilot provinces shows that a "substantial" number of votes were not counted for Marcos, then the PET would proceed with the recount in the other 24 protested areas.

Meanwhile, if the high court decides to act on Marcos' third cause of action and should he succeed in having the election results of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan be annulled, both he and Robredo would lose votes but Robredo would get the bigger decrease.

Marcos would only lose 169,160 votes while Robredo would see a cut of 477,985.

Subtracting these from the total vote count of both parties—Robredo’s 14,418,817 and Marcos’s 14,155,344—would result in Marcos winning the vice presidency by 45,352 votes over Robredo.

Marcos will end up with 13,986,184 votes while Robredo will be at a very close second with 13,940,832 votes.