FORMER senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed the joint motion to withdraw the pending motions at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal and give way to the recount of the votes in the 2016 vice presidential race, which he lost to Leni Robredo and for which he demanded a recount.
“I’ve done everything possible to speed up this election protest,” Marcos said in his Facebook post on Tuesday.
Under the joint motion, both camps will withdraw “any and all motions and incidents that may unduly delay or hamper the election proceedings.”
Marcos made his post even as the supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo said they will now take on Marcos’ challenge to withdraw all pending motions in order to proceed with the recount of the ballots in the case.
Robredo’s lawyers had earlier dismissed Marcos’ challenge and said they did not have any pending motions.
But on Tuesday, Robredo’s lead counsel Romulo Macalintal said “We accept the challenge of Mr. Marcos and his lawyer to sign a joint motion to withdraw any and all pending motions and incidents at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, which may cause the delay of the recount of the ballots from the pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.”
Marcos’ spokesman Vic Rodriguez on Sunday challenged Robredo to withdraw all outstanding motions so they could “go straight to the recount.”
“In so doing, we could hasten the process and go straight to the ballots. The ballots are the best evidence and we should just proceed with the recount,” Rodriguez said.
Robredo’s camp accepted the challenge on Tuesday, saying they also did not want to delay the ballot recount.
“It is Marcos’ raising of baseless allegations and irrelevant issues that is causing the delay in the recount,” Macalintal said.
Macalintal earlier invited Marcos and his lawyer to sign the joint motion on Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Marcos lost to Robredo in the 2016 national elections by 263,473 votes.
On June 29, 2016, Marcos filed an election protest against Robredo before the Supreme Court sitting as the PET.
In its grant of Marcos’ plea, the PET decided on Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental as the pilot provinces for the ballot recount.
Earlier, Marcos identified the three provinces as the “best exemplifying fraud or irregularities” in his protest brief.
Robredo also listed three provinces in her own counter-protest brief: Capiz, Sulu and North Cotabato.
Her camp claims Marcos’ election protest is based on general allegations and manufactured evidence designed to sway the results in his favor.
The PET has required Marcos to pay P66 million and Robredo P15 million in two tranches to finance their protests and counter-protests. A petitioner needs to pay P500 per contested precinct.