MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo has asked the Supreme Court (SC), acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to give the Commission on Elections (Comelec) just 5 days to comment on the ballot shading threshold for the electoral protest filed against her.
On Wednesday, July 11, Robredo's lawyers, Romulo Macalintal and Bernadette Sardillo, filed an urgent motion with the PET to give Comelec only 5 days – half the time requested by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) – to file its comment on the matter.
Emil Marañon III, Robredo's legal consultant, brought the document to the SC on behalf of the Robredo camp.
Robredo’s lawyers explained that the Comelec’s confirmation of the correct ballot shading threshold, or the minimum amount of shade on a ballot oval to be considered as a valid vote, can help the PET decide once and for all.
"Thus, if only to avoid any further and unnecessary delays in the resolution of the motion for reconsideration, protestee Robredo humbly asks that Comelec be directed to file its comment within a period of 5 days instead of the 10 days requested by the OSG," they said.
The Vice President has appealed to the PET to use a 25% ballot shading threshold, arguing this was the threshold set by the Comelec in the 2016 elections.
Marcos refutes Robredo and instead supports the PET’s initial decision to set the ballot shading threshold at 50% for the election case he filed against the Vice President.
Solicitor General Jose Calida had initially represented the Comelec in the issue and asked the PET thrice to extend the period for the poll body to submit its comment, delaying the submission for 45 days.
On July 4, Calida filed a manifestation with the PET to say that he supports the 50% shading threshold, favoring his ally Marcos and in effect dropping the Comelec. (READ: Robredo on why Calida sided with Bongbong: 'He's No. 1 Marcos supporter’)
In the same manifestation, the Solicitor General asked the PET to give the Comelec another 10 days so it could file its comment on its own. This is the period the Robredo camp is contesting.
The Comelec has so far remained silent on the issue.
Read the full copy of the Robredo camp’s motion below: