THE Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, will start next month the revision of the votes in the 2016 vice presidential race following the protest filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Marcos claims he was cheated in the vice presidential race that was won by Leni Robredo.
The recount proceedings, which was originally set this month, will begin after the camps of Robredo and Marcos withdrew their respective pending motions that would have delayed the recount.
The revision starts on March 19 and will cover Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental, which were identified by Marcos as the areas where he could prove the irregularities he cited in his poll protest.
The Marcos camp on Thursday criticized Robredo for allegedly paying lip service to his challenge to join him in asking the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to expedite the resolution of his electoral protest.
The Marcos camp had urged Robredo to join Marcos in filing a joint motion to withdraw their respective pending motions that would unduly delay the counting of the contested votes in the 2016 vice presidential race.
Marcos’ lawyer Vic Rodriguez said Robredo was insincere when she did not sign the copy of the “joint manifestation” that they sent her, which sought to withdraw any and all motions that might unduly delay or hamper the counting of the contested votes.
But Robredo’s camp on Thursday maintained she was the duly elected vice president.
Maria Bernadette Sardillo, Robredo’s lawyer, said until Marcos’ camp proved otherwise, Robredo was the duly elected vice president and must be accorded respect.
“Until such time that they can prove otherwise, then accord her the respect that is owed to her,” Sardillo said.
She called on the Marcos camp to stop using the name of the vice president to advance his personal and political agenda.
Rodriquez said that in the joint motion presented by the Robredo camp before reporters on Wednesday, only the name of Robredo’s counsel, lawyer Romulo Macalintal, appeared on the document.
“A joint manifestation is a major pleading and it cannot be done through counsel alone,” Rodriguez said.
“It should also be signed by the client because it needs his or her conformity. Since Mrs. Robredo did not sign the pleading together with her lawyer, it is obvious that she has no intention to withdraw her motions.”
Rodriguez said Robredo’s failure to sign the motion put into question her sincerity in hastening the pace of the electoral process.
Rodriguez also said it cast doubt on the authority of Macalintal, who signed the motion considering that Robredo could later on even disown the motion because it was made without her conformity.