VP REQUESTS PET TO RESOLVE THE RECOUNT ASAP
13 June 2006
Vice-President Noli De Castro
asked the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to make a
partial determination of the validity of Loren Legarda's election protest
based on the results of the revision of ballots from the Province of Cebu and
recanvass of election returns from the Province of Lanao del Sur "to
expedite the resolution of the said protest".
Romulo Macalintal, Alberto Agra and Armando Marcelo of the AMPGP Law offices,
De Castro alleged that the bulk of his 800,000 vote-lead came from Cebu
Province and that as of June 9, the revision of ballots from this province is
97% complete and is expected to be terminated anytime this week.
In his motion, De Castro showed that his vote-lead over Legarda has not been
materially affected although Legarda objected to almost 90% of De Castro
De Castro's lawyers explained that by such
partial determination which is allowed under the PET rules, it could
"avoid the presentation of voluminous documents in one tranche and the
examination of millions of contested ballots which the PET could not
otherwise decide or act upon in one sitting."
De Castro's lawyers
proposed a preliminary hearing where the parties could submit all their
evidence for Cebu and the recanvass returns of Lanao Del Sur
and thereafter to show cause why the protest should be or should not be
allowed to continue.
De Castro’s lawyers pointed out that the
Province of Cebu has a total of 7.744 precincts and has more than one
million ballots used in the May 2004 polls. Since every precinct was revised,
a total of 7,744 revision reports had been prepared, each report consisting
of seven (7) pages, or a total of 54,208 pages of revision reports. With
20 copies required to be filed for each set of revision report, this will
mean a total of 1,084,160 pieces of copy papers (54,208 x 20 = 1,084,160)
to be submitted by De Castro and Legarda to the PET for the tribunal's
By such proposal, De Castro's counsels clarified
that with more than a million ballots being contested from the Province of
Cebu alone and with such number of documentary evidence to be prepared, the
PET would be swamped with an overwhelmingly large number of documents, not
to mention the same volume of documents and ballots if the PET would wait for
the results of the revision for the Provinces of Pampanga and Maguindanao
which are part of Legarda's pilot protested provinces.
this proposal, we are confident that the resolution of this election protest
could be expedited. The parties would not be pressed for time in
photocopying and presenting their respective voluminous evidence. The
submission of a great volume of evidence from other provinces would be
avoided and the parties could save from expenses for photocopying of these
documents and from the daily salaries and allowances of revisors", Macalintal
and Agra said.
Ref no. VPMEDIA 06-066