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VP poll recount far from over.

By Raymund Antonio

Don't expect the ballot recount for the 2016 vice presidential derby to be finished any time soon.

The Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, will still have to review the remaining 418 ballot boxes from Negros Oriental for the electoral protest filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Hence, Robredo's co-counsel Maria Bernadette Sardillo took back her previous statement that the recount and revision of ballots could be finished before the year ends.

"Next year, January," she told the Manila Bulletin when asked about the new schedule on the recount for her client's election case.

As of December 5, Sardillo said the PET still has 418 ballots boxes from Negros Oriental to review.

Negros Oriental is the last pilot province, where ballots will be recounted by PET to determine if Marcos' case has merit.

The others are Camarines Sur and Iloilo.

Robredo defeated Marcos by 189,092 votes in Negros Oriental after she obtained 255,598 votes against Marcos' 66,506 votes.

Negros Oriental has 1,284 clustered precincts.

Apart from Negros Oriental, Sardillo said the 130 wet ballots from all the three pilot provinces will also be recounted.

"The ballot images will be used instead of the wet ballots," the lady lawyer said.

In a September 18, 2018 ruling, the PET denied Marcos' motion to stop using decrypted ballot images in the recount.

A ballot image is the captured image of a ballot once it is fed to the vote counting machine.

The PET said the head revisors can use the ballot images when the "paper ballots were wet, damaged, or are otherwise unreadable."

"Thus, it is in the interest of the protestant (Marcos) that the Tribunal be allowed to resort to the decrypted ballot images, whenever necessary," the resolution read.


Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (left) and Vice President Leni Robredo (MANILA BULLETIN)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Dec 8, 2018
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