No rigging of VP poll protest case: Bersamin

MANILA Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin on Thursday assured parties to the electoral protest involving the 2016 vice presidential race, which is pending before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), that the case will be handled without irregularities.

"Don't worry, di ko niluluto. Di pwedeng lutuin 'yan (It won't be rigged, It cannot be rigged), I know everybody is so keen expecting some pronouncements but, you know the en banc is very deliberate about serious matters. This is a matter of national impact," Bersamin said in a media interview.

The top magistrate said a court action is scheduled on the protest case between former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" E. Marcos Jr. and Vice President Ma. Leonor Robredo.

"(There will be court action) By next week. It may not be what you are expecting. We are still discussing many other things taking up a lot of matters so that's all I can tell you." Bersamin added.

The SC earlier deferred its ruling on the case even as Robredo's counsels on Monday filed an urgent motion asking the PET to release the results of the initial vote recount in the poll protest.

Robredo, through her counsel, sought the release of a copy of the summary and committee reports on the revision, recount, and re-appreciation of ballots in Marcos' three pilot provinces of Iloilo, Naga City, and Negros Occidental.

She said releasing the report would put to rest various speculations that recently came up when it was reported that justice-in-charge, Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa has already concluded his report on the recount.

Robredo won the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos' 14,155,344 votes.

In his protest, Marcos contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.

He named three provinces where he can supposedly prove that irregularities marred the conduct of the 2016 national and local elections.

Marcos' pilot provinces are Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental, and Iloilo. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency