Decryption like fishing for evidence, to cost P218-M – Macalintal
Vice President Leni Robredo has asked the Supreme Court to deny the motion of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. for the decryption and printing of ballot images from precincts covered by his protest in connection with the May 2016 vice-presidential race, on grounds of prematurity.
Robredo’s comment on Marcos’ plea stressed that the request is “premature” since the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has yet to resolve her motion for reconsideration on the finding of sufficiency in form and substance of Marcos’ poll protest. The motion specifically questions if Marcos’ protest detailed the alleged acts or omissions tantamount to fraud, anomalies, and irregularities he assailed.
Robredo also cited the pendency of the issue on whether ballot boxes and election paraphernalia subject of the protest should already be brought in for the revision of votes.
“To allow protestant to decrypt and print all ballot images from the secure digital (SD) cards from the entire 36,445 protested clustered precincts will practically grant his prayer for the judicial recount and revision of ballots, which, as stated, is still an issue to be resolved,” the vice-president’s comment read.
Robredo’s camp argued that granting Marcos’ motion would be tantamount to allowing him to embark on a fishing expedition, where he is given a chance “to fish for evidence, if not totally confused on the remedy he wants to pursue; whether actual revision of ballots or merely decryption of ballot images.”
The cost for decrypting the ballot images will cost Marcos some P218.67-million, according to estimates made by Robredo’s camp, leading her lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, to wonder how Marcos would shoulder the cost.
Marcos’ protest covers 39,221 clustered precincts, composed of a total of 132,446 precincts, while Robredo’s counter-protest covers 8,042 clustered precincts, composed of 31,278 precincts.
The PET set the preliminary conference for the Marcos protest and Robredo counter-protest on July 11.
Marcos lost to Robredo by merely 263,473 votes.
Source: Ina Reformina, ABSCBNNews