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    Press Conference of Vice President Leni Robredo & Legal Team On the PET Resolution Dated Sept. 18, 2018

    Press Conference of Vice President Leni Robredo & Legal Team

    On the PET Resolution Dated Sept. 18, 2018

    Quezon City Reception House

    [opening statements]

    ATTY. ROMULO MACALINTAL: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.

    Well, of course, siguro alam niyo na iyong purpose ng aming presscon: iyong masayang balita that the Supreme Court, or the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, sustained our position that the 25-percent threshold on the shading of the ballots should be maintained.

    And we are very, very happy also because not only 25 percent ang kinonsider ng Supreme Court, kundi even as low as 20 percent threshold is now considered as a valid vote, insofar as the revision and the recount of the ballots are concerned. And the Supreme Court, ang naging basehan po ng Presidential Electoral Tribunal, ay iyong mga comments na ibinigay ng Commission on Elections, na in the 2016 elections, ang ginamit talaga nilang threshold ay 25 percent. In other words, the vote counting machines were configured to read ballots where the shading was at least 25 percent on the oval. And on the basis of that comment of the Commission on Elections, the Supreme Court sustained our motion that the 25-percent threshold should be adopted by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

    And of course, kami ay natutuwa rin sapagkat ang ating Korte Suprema ay gumawa ng ganitong desisyon, which could be used as a guide or enlightenment in future electoral processes like this. And kaya lang naman hindi nagawa agad ng Korte Suprema ang bagay na ito, iyan po naman ay ipinaliwanag ng Korte Suprema na the Comelec did not immediately inform them that there was a change in the threshold. Because in the 2010 Elections, ang naging threshold na ginamit ng Comelec was 50 percent, and so in 2010 Elections, ang naging part ng rules ng Presidential Electoral Tribunal is that 50-percent threshold. But in the 2016 Presidential Elections, hindi na-inform ng Comelec ang PET na ginamit pala nila ay 25-percent threshold. And even in press releases made by the Commission on Elections, the Comelec advised the public to fully shade the ballots, and the Comelec did not even inform the public that the threshold was only 25 percent. Bakit sinabi ng Comelec sa publiko na kailangan i-fully shade natin iyong balota? Bakit hindi nila sinabi na iyong 25 percent ay bibilangin din? Kasi the Comelec, gusto nilang makasigurado na talagang iyong 25 percent—at least 25 percent of the [oval in the] ballot are shaded, otherwise baka magkaroon ito ng disenfranchisement of the voters. Kasi kapag sinabi natin na, “O, puwede na iyong 25 percent,” baka maging very lax ang mga botante, kaunti lang ang kanilang i-shade. Kaya ang ginawa ng Comelec, pinagsabihan ang publiko na kailangan 100-percent threshold ang kanilang gagawin.

    And we hope that in future electoral processes, or election protests like this, there would be proper coordination now between the Comelec and the Supreme Court, and all other electoral tribunals, before rules of the revision or recount of the ballots would be released or issued.

    Kaya we consider the resolution as a very significant legal and political victory on our part. And this will greatly boost the morale of our supporters, who were so worried with the reported reduction of Robredo’s votes due to this highly controversial threshold issue.

    Furthermore, the resolution debunked Marcos’ baseless claim that the use of the 25-percent threshold was tantamount to changing the rules in the middle of the game. The truth of the matter, as sustained by the Tribunal’s resolution, is that the 25-percent threshold was the rule adopted by the Comelec even before the start of the elections, but was not revealed to the public in order to apply the “intent rule” doctrine, to avoid disenfranchisement of voters in case they fail to fully shade the ovals on the ballots.

    And now that the resolution is effective immediately, we can already assure the public that the true results of the elections will confirm that our Vice President Robredo was the duly elected Vice President, in a clean and honest election, and that Marcos’ protest, from the very, very start, has no visible means of legal or factual support.

    OVP: Vice President Leni Robredo?

    VP LENI: Magandang umaga sa lahat.

    Nalaman namin iyong desisyon kagabi lang. Apparently, nilabas ito— Nagkaroon ng desisyon September 18, but the parties were only informed about it late yesterday afternoon. Ako nga, nalaman ko gabi na, kasi wala akong dalang telepono.

    Pero noong nalaman namin, pareho iyong description— Siyempre, kami—si Atty. Romy Mac, si Atty. Beng—kami lahat dito, parang lahat nakahinga. Ang description nito ni Atty. Romy Mac yata, para tayong FPJ: nagpabugbog muna nang napakatagal, ng dalawang taon, bago nakakita ng, parang, kaunting space para huminga.

    Pero napaka-welcome development siya. Inaasahan. Inaasahan namin kasi alam namin na kapag iyong Supreme Court nalaman niya kung ano iyong rules na ginamit ng Comelec during the 2016 elections, talagang ire-reconsider niya iyong kaniyang earlier ruling.

    Pero, again, kahit ito iyong expectation namin na klase ng resolution, noong dumating siya, masayang-masaya pa din. Masaya, dahil number one, alam namin na bibilis na, bibilis na iyong proseso. Noong umpisa, kami iyong inaakusahan, na kami iyong nagpapatagal. Pero hindi iyon totoo, dahil to our advantage na matapos na kaagad, dahil lalong hindi siya natatapos, lalong nagkakaroon ng avenue para mas maraming kasinungalingan at propaganda iyong ilabas.

    Number two, marami na kaming… sinabi niya, sinabi namin, na hindi alam ng tao kung sino iyong nagsasabi ng totoo. At kapag binasa natin iyong ruling, very specific—21 pages iyong ruling—makikita doon sa ruling na lahat ng kasinungalingan, parang, nasagot doon. Example lang ng kasinungalingan, kung naaalala niyo, mayroong pagkakataon na mayroon siyang propaganda na lumabas sa maraming mga, parang, media outlets na marami nang nabawas sa amin. If I’m not mistaken, parang ang propaganda noon 21,000 [votes] na iyong nabawas sa amin. Ngayon, very specific iyong korte na nag-a-agree sa pag-debunk namin noon na wala pang nababawas na kahit ano, sa kahit sino. Wala pang nababawas, wala pang nadadagdag. Kaya masaya kami, kasi ultimately kami iyong nakikita, na kami iyong nagsasabi ng totoo.

    Pangalawa, iyong sinasabi niya na may tampering, bakit may mga squares sa ballots, etc., etc., sinagot din iyon, sinagot din iyon ng PET na iyon ay feature. Iyon ay feature ng 2016 elections.

    Marami pang iba. Marami pang iba na kapag binasa natin iyong desisyon, masasabi natin na kami pala iyong nagsasabi ng totoo at hindi si Marcos.

    Iyong sa akin, para sa akin, iyong value ng desisyon hindi lang sa protest na ito, kundi sa lahat ng election cases, kasi it was overemphasized in the decision na kapag electoral cases, ang pinakamahalaga talaga, iyong intent ng voters. Ang sinasabi niya, na parating babalik tayo doon sa ano iyong gusto, ano iyong iniisip ng botante na boto, iyon iyong bigyan ng halaga. Tingin ko masasagot nito iyong lahat na kuwestiyon— Iyong 25-percent, iyong 50[-percent], ito iyong mga technicalities, pero iyong pinakamahalaga dito, iyong pagbibigay-halaga sa intent rule.

    Tinitingnan ko iyong desisyon, huminga din ako nang malalim noong nakita ko, except for two justices who were on leave at the time that the decision was made, lahat na justices nakapirma. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, si Justice Carpio saka si Justice Peralta were on official leave the day na nilabas… the day na nilabas iyong desisyon. So sa akin, walang duda na appreciated ng justices iyong kung ano iyong tama.

    And ang hope lang namin, na after the resolution… after this resolution, sana tuloy-tuloy na—sana mapabilis na, sana matapos na, para maka-move on na talaga dito. Alam natin—alam namin, alam namin na kung ano iyong kakahinatnan nito, at lalong hindi umuusad iyong kaso, lalong nagbibigay ng cloud over everything.

    Kaya, again, happy kami na sana within the year matapos na. Iyong usapan naman, tapusin muna iyong three pilot provinces—iyong three pilot provinces siya din iyong pumili—para i-decide kung magpo-proceed pa o hindi. Pero iyong important thing is iyong pinaka-important question nasagot na.

    OVP: Statement from Atty. Beng [Sardillo]? Atty. Emil [Marañon]? Atty. Ace [Bautista]? Atty.?

    [Q&A]

    OVP: We now open the question and answer portion. Mara Cepeda?

    REPORTER 1: Ma’am, mayroon po kasing part ng decision na hindi na-discuss in your opening statement. It’s—nasa page 19 po ng decision. The decision po of the PET for the head revisors to refer to the election returns to verify the total number of votes pagdating po sa revision of ballots. So how do we reconcile that po, Sir? You’re saying that na-sustain po ang 25 percent pero parang lumalabas po, iyong election returns lang po iyong gagamitin?

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Kaya nga na-sustain iyong 25 percent, kaya nagta-tally iyong sa recount noon kasi hindi nga nila binibilang iyong 25 percent kaya pagka nagbilangan sila ng balota, hindi nagta-tally iyong physical count with the results in the election returns. Kaya ngayon, dahil nga sa nagkaroon ng ganiyang ruling na 25 percent, we are confident that the physical count of the ballots will now tally with the election returns. Kasi noon nga, hindi nagta-tally sila dahil sa hindi binibilang iyong 25 percent. But the election returns, when the ballots were counted, the number of votes reflected in the election returns included those ballots in less than 50 percent threshold. Kaya ang sabi ng Korte Suprema, kailangan iko-compare na lahat natin ngayon iyong election returns—iyong results sa election returns—with the physical count of the ballots using the 25 percent threshold.

    VP LENI: Ito, Mara, siguro i-clarify lang natin, parang sinasabi ng Comelec na noong 2016 elections, noong nagbasa iyong mga machines, naka-calibrate na talaga siya to 25 percent. Noong nagsabi iyong court na 50 percent, talagang hindi magta-tally kasi noong election—ay, nabasa siya 25 percent, iyong bagong… mas bagong ruling iyong 50—so hindi magta-tally. Parang ngayon, ina-affirm niya lang na talagang 25 percent. Kaya kapag binalikan iyong election returns, magta-tally na siya.

    REPORTER 1: Additional question po. Regarding this ruling po regarding the use of the election returns, how do you think it will affect the speed of the resolution of the protest and do you think it will be in the Robredo team’s favor?

    ATTY. BENG SARDILLO: It’s going to be faster kasi for the past few months since the revision started, nagkakaroon ng diskusyon iyong revisors ng parties and even iyong head revisors ng Presidential Electoral Tribunal. Iyong diskusyon nila is pasok ba ito doon sa threshold or hindi; bibilangin ba ito based sa physical count para sa party or hindi. Ngayon, with this ruling by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal na mayroong express reference sa election return, magiging mas mabilis ang proseso dahil wala nang pagtatalo. Titingnan—bibigyan ng weight kung ano iyong resulta noong eleksyon based sa election returns doon sa pagse-segregate ng mga balota.

    REPORTER 1: Pero, Ma’am, just to clarify lang po, so gagamitin iyong ERs pero saan po ulit papasok iyong shading threshold na 25 percent?

    ATTY. BENG SARDILLO: When they segregate iyong mga balota at nilalagay siya sa pile, halimbawa, ito iyong boto na natanggap—Robredo at Marcos—titingnan din kung ano ang resulta based sa election return doon sa presintong iyon. Kasi in the past few months, ang nangyayari, parang nadi-disregard, hindi na pinapansin kung ano iyong naging resulta sa presinto, nagiging discretion na lang na, “O, pumasok ba ito sa 50 percent or hindi?”

    REPORTER 1: Thank you po.

    REPORTER 2: Hi, Ma’am. Adrian Ayalin po, ABS-CBN. So, Ma’am, wala na tayong major hurdle na ine-expect? As in tuloy-tuloy na talaga iyong gagawin ng PET?

    VP LENI: Hinayaan ko iyong lawyers magsagot pero kaya ko kinuha muna iyong mic kasi parang iyong natatawa kami sa sarili namin earlier kasi parang iyong two years na dumaan, parang lahat na lang bad news for us—parang ito iyong unang good news. Ang tanong namin, “Parang hindi na kami sanay sa good news?” Na ang tanong namin, “Magkakaroon pa kaya ng bad news?” Pero siguro si Atty. Beng saka si Atty. Romy Mac iyong sasagot.

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Para sa akin, eh, hindi good news iyon, Ma’am, eh, kundi very good news. Ano nga ulit iyong tanong mo?

    REPORTER 2: Kung may mga major hurdle pa ba tayong ine-expect?

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Well, sa akin wala na kaming pinangangambahan ngayon kasi lahat noong mga issues na inihain nila doon na kami raw ay nandaya, o may pandaraya iyong halalan, eh halos sinagot lahat eh. Iyong wet ballots: bakit may wet ballots? Bakit may mga wet ballots? So sabi ng Supreme Court, kung mayroong wet ballots, gamitin mo ang ballot images. Walang problema iyan because the ballot images are authentic documents na puwedeng pagbasehan, ano ha.

    At iyong sinabi ng Supreme Court na nag-o-object ngayon si Mr. Marcos doon sa paggamit ng ballot images. Sabi ng Supreme Court, “Bakit ka mag-o-object? Ikaw mismo ang humingi—iyong move for the decryption of the ballot images—and now that the ballot images were already decrypted, you are opposing the use of the ballot images. This is very inconsistent with your motion.” Kaya wala na kaming problema diyan kasi kahit anong mangyari sa mga balotang iyan, kahit mawala lahat iyang mga balotang iyan, nandoon pa rin iyong ballot images because the ballot images would now constitute as the best evidence of the results of the election. And from the initial opening or decryption of the ballots images, wala namang pagbabago iyong resulta ng mga halalan.

    Kaya sa ngayon, kami ay naniniwala na wala na kaming masyadong problemang hinaharap. Si Mr. Marcos na ngayon ang may malaking problema sa kaniyang protesta.

    VP LENI: Siguro iyong ano ko lang, medyo i-layman’s terms para sa benefit din ng mga nanonood. Kasi kapag bumoboto tayo ‘di ba, nandoon pa tayo, ife-feed na iyong ating balota sa machine. Kapag fineed ito sa machine, mayroong parang pini-picturan siya noong machine na parang automatic iyong picture—iyon iyong images. Kaya sinasabi… Ito, parati ko itong tinatanong kay Atty. Romy Mac saka kay Atty. Beng before: “Puwede ba tayo ditong madaya?” Sila iyong nag-a-assure na sobrang hirap [mandaya] kapag automated kasi kahit mo pa sirain iyong mga nasa ballot box na mga balota, iyon nga, kahit basain mo, kahit walain mo, mayroon siyang mirror images eh. Lahat na feeding mo, mayroon siyang naka-store na picture.

    Iyong early part ng revision, ni-request ni Mr. Marcos na i-decrypt. Gustong sabihin, basahin saka i-print, kasi ‘di ba kapag iyong ballot images, kasi parang naka-store lang siya sa memory. Parang inano ito, ni-request niya na i-decrypt, i-print. Noong pinrint, mayroong representative tayo, kami, may representative din si Mr. Marcos. Every time na nagpi-print, pinapakita kung faithful ba siya doon sa na-decrypt tapos pipirmahan ng both parties. Parang sinasabi ngayon ng Supreme Court—kasi hinaharang niya na ito; hinaharang niyang basahin—kaya sinasabi ng Supreme Court, “Bakit mo haharangin ngayon? In the first place, ikaw iyong nag-request—ikaw iyong nag-request na i-decrypt ito. Noong dinecrypt ito at pinrint, mayroon kang representative at every time lumalabas iyong printing, tinitingnan ng representative mo, pinipirmahan ng lahat ng parties, so bakit haharangin ngayon?” Parang iyong sinabi niya, “Wala namang kaso kung may nabasa eh. Wala namang kaso kung may nasira kasi kapag hindi na iyon nababasa, mayroon tayong babalikan na picture.” Parang iyong kay Senator Trillanes din ‘di ba, parang sinabi na, “Hindi nag-file,” tapos may video pala. “Hindi nag-submit” tapos may video pala. Ito, ganoon din.

    REPORTER 3: Helen Flores po, Philippine Star. Atty. Mac, could you update us on the ongoing manual recount? Where are we now? Because I heard that we are done with the Camarines Sur recount and we’re done with the retrieval of ballots from Negros Oriental. Could you update us?

    ATTY. BENG SARDILLO: As of now, patapos na po iyong Iloilo. We were expecting it to finish by Friday kaya lang biglang… sa paglabas po ng resolution na ito ng Presidential Electoral Tribunal, sinuspend nila iyong revision simula ngayon hanggang Friday para i-retrain iyong revisors. So by next week, inaasahan naming matapos na iyong Iloilo. Mayroon pa pong mga around 400 boxes from the Third District of Camarines Sur na nanggaling sa HRET (House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal) na bubuksan pa at susunod na rin iyong sa Negros Oriental.

    REPORTER 3: Ma’am, what happened to the ballots which have less than 50 percent threshold kasi hindi sila binilang or sineparate po ba sila pending the decision on the 25 percent threshold?

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Iyong hindi binilang noon na less than 50 percent, iyon ang sinabi ng Korte Suprema na: “Wala pa kaming binabawasan. We have not yet ruled on any objections.” Kasi iyong mga less than 50 percent, sinet aside muna iyan eh. These were all objected by Mr. Marcos pero kami, we claim that these are valid ballots. So dahil sa may claim kami at may objections sila, ang sabi ng Presidential Electional Tribunal: “Wala pang nababawasan sa kanila at wala pang nadadagdagan and the Court will rule on them as soon as the case is submitted for resolution.” So kami, umaasa kami na because of this ruling, lahat noong in-object-an ni Mr. Marcos na less than 50 percent ay mare-recover naming lahat ito, ano ha, dahil sa wala namang magagawa ang Korte Suprema kundi sundin iyong kanilang ruling na ito.

    REPORTER 4: Vice, good morning. Lawyers, good morning. I have a question to Atty. Mac, I know, you have been waiting for this moment. With this very—

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Ah, this moment, matagal naming hinintay-hintay ito. Napakatagal, ano, napakaraming panalangin at pagluluhod para ito ay makuha lamang namin. And hindi lamang iisa, noong una halos yon lamang iyong hingiin namin—iyong 50 percent sana ma-reconsider iyon. Pero halos lahat na ng kailangan namin ay naibigay ng Korte Suprema in this resolution.

    REPORTER 4: Yes, Sir, this is my question. With this very good news, Sir, what do you think would be the next [move] of the BBM camp, especially Bongbong Marcos—do you think he’ll now run for Senator this next election?

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Hindi ko alam kung anong gagawin niya pero ako, honestly speaking, from the looks of it, wala namang magagawa. He cannot do anything anymore. And perhaps, Mr. Marcos could consider withdrawing his election protest because the bulk of his objections against the ballots of the Vice President is centered on the issue of threshold. Lahat ng objections niya tungkol sa threshold eh, na iyong mga ballots of Mrs. Robredo below the 50 percent threshold—iyon ang objections niya eh, hoping na iyong mga balotang iyon ay madi-disregard, hoping that these ballots would be invalidated. But with this ruling of the tribunal, all these ballots will be credited in favor of Mrs. Robredo and there is no more basis for the objections of Mr. Marcos kaya balewala iyong kaniyang lahat ng objections na iyon. It would appear now that the ballots of Mrs. Robredo would remain non-objected ballots. So hindi ito na-object-an kaya’t we would easily recover them in the final count of the ballots.

    And again, Mr. Marcos may consider withdrawing his election protest para naman iyong mga ballot boxes na ginagamit ngayon na magiging dahilan pa ng paggastos natin sa darating na 2019 elections ay magamit natin. I think millions of pesos would be involved if these ballots would remain intact in the Presidential Electoral Tribunal and could not be used in the 2019 elections. And by considering withdrawing his election protest, he still has a lot of time to consider running for the Senate in 2019.

    REPORTER 5: Good morning po, Ma’am. Llanesca po from GMA News Online. You mentioned about Marcos being relentless in his bid to, kumbaga, propel himself to power. Do you see him appealing this ruling because doon sa first round, kayo iyong nagkaroon ng setback and you appealed by citing the September 2016 na letter—esolution—and letter of the Comelec to the Supreme Court kasi sabi ng SC they are not aware of the 25 [percent] and apparently, they are. So, do you see a similar room for Bongbong, I mean, mayroon pa bang butas itong resolution na ito that he can, kumbaga, cite in his appeal or, kumbaga, spotless na po ito?

    VP LENI: Kung titingnan natin iyong resolution mismo, parang the last nail in the coffin has been ‘di ba, has been put in place. Pero alam kasi natin si Mr. Marcos, gagawin iyong lahat kahit hindi na totoo para ma-pursue iyong path niya para sa kapangyarihan. So it is always possible na gagawin niya pa rin.

    Pero kung ang pagbabasehan natin iyong ruling mismo, iyong ruling nga is so much more than, parang what we were expecting. Ang expectation natin iyong ruling only on the threshold pero parang pinag-desisyunan na niya iyong lahat na contentions na ni-raise o maaari pang i-raise. So sa amin, wala na kaming nakikitang puwede pa. Iyong sa akin lang, sana hindi na ma-waste iyong time ng court, sana hindi na ma-waste iyong time ng iba pang mga tao, iyong resources ng gobyerno. Sa paghahanap ng—tingin ko hindi naman paghahanap kasi alam naman niya na wala siyang mahahanap. Pero kung pagbabasehan kasi natin iyong first day na inihain niya iyong complaint, paiba-iba na iyong grounds. Masyado nang maraming grounds na, halimbawa, itong threshold, ano lang naman ito eh, nag-surface ito noong nagsa-start na iyong protest. Iyong pinaka-ground niya noong umpisa, wala na, parang nasagot na each and every time. Hindi naman puwede na gagamitin iyong resources ng gobyerno— [technical difficulty]

    VP LENI: Okay na?

    Habang kasi nag-aayos tayo ng sound system, sabi ni Boom, may statement na si Mr. Marcos, through Atty. Vic Rodriguez, na they are happy with the decision. Ang sabi ko lang, we are happier. [laughter]

    So kapag ganoon, ang expectation natin, wala nang further na discussion on this particular issue, so baka finally uusad na iyong kaso, at alam natin na kapag umusad iyong kaso, madi-dismiss na ito.

    OVP: Next question?

    REPORTER 6: Vince po from BusinessWorld. Ask ko lang po kung may idea na po ba kayo kung kailan matatapos iyong recount?

    VP LENI: Kung may idea daw kung kailan matatapos…

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Gaano katagal? Beng?

    ATTY. BENG SARDILLO: Mga around November or December. Pero depende, with this new ruling, umaasa kaming mas mabilis.

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Pero iyon ay recount pa lang. Kasi, remember, after the recount or revision of these ballots, magkakaroon ng hearing. The Presidential Electoral Tribunal will conduct a hearing, through the appointed hearing commissioners, where the parties will submit their evidence.

    Iyong parties: una, si Mr. Marcos maghahain siya ng kaniyang ebidensya para patunayan na he was able to recover substantially from the three provinces. Kapag nag-submit siya noong kaniyang ebidensya, iyon ay aabutin pa iyon ng, siguro, mga isang buwan, just to submit his evidence. Pagkatapos niyang i-submit iyong kaniyang ebidensya, kami naman ang magsa-submit ng aming ebidensya na nagpapatunay na wala siyang na-recover sa three pilot provinces. At iyon, baka isang buwan ding abutin iyon. Then, pagkatapos noon, magsa-submit kami ng memorandum para patunayan ng bawat isa kung talagang naka-recover si Marcos o hindi siya naka-recover. At iyon, mga siguro isang buwan din para mag-submit ng memorandum, because that will consist of voluminous documents. Hindi ho isang papel lang iyan, kundi napakaraming dokumento ang isa-submit diyan. Then pagkatapos niyan, magde-decide ang Presidential Electoral Tribunal. Paano magde-decide ang Presidential Electoral Tribunal? The Presidential Electoral Tribunal, iyong 15 justices of the Supreme Court, will now review, one by one, the objections. Eh ilang objections iyan. Hundreds of thousands of objections, bago matapos ng Presidential Electoral Tribunal. Bigyan mo sila ng tatlong buwan, which is very, very fast already—even the Constitution, they are given two years to resolve. Pero kahit tatlong buwan, you can just imagine kung gaano katagal iyan.

    And we are only talking here of the three pilot provinces. Anong ibig sabihin noon? Kapag nag-decide ang Presidential Electoral Tribunal, the only decision will center on the issue of whether or not Mr. Marcos was able to recover from his three pilot provinces. And what is the significance of the recovery? The significance of the recovery is that if he was able to make substantial recovery, then he will go to his election protest in other provinces, or the 25 other remaining provinces. So saka lamang ulit magbubukas ng mga ballot boxes at mga balota doon sa natitira pa niyang 25 provinces. So hindi pa ho tapos iyan. Iyong pinag-uusapan lang iyong three pilot provinces.

    So kung sakali naman na sabihin ng Korte Suprema na, “Mr. Marcos, wala ka namang na-recover dito sa tatlong probinsyang ito,” the Tribunal will just dismiss this election protest.

    So don’t expect na pagkatapos nito, tapos na. Hindi ho. Matagal pa ho iyong prosesong iyan. At hindi iyan dahil sa kami ay nagde-delay; because that is the procedure that is adopted in resolving cases before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

    REPORTER 1: Sir, just a follow-up: Has the PET determined what substantial recovery means in the three pilot provinces?

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: There are cases which could be the basis of the Supreme Court in making determination as to whether or not a protestant was able to make substantial recovery. For instance, here in the three provinces, if he could recover at least, siguro, 50,000 ballots, baka sabihing mayroon siyang substantial recovery. And because, if you were able to recover 50,000 ballots from three provinces, then it is possible that he will be able to recover from the 25 remaining provinces. And since the vote lead of the Vice President is 260,000 votes, sasabihin niya na mayroon siyang substantial recovery.

    But we are very, very confident na he cannot make any substantial recovery. With this ruling of the Tribunal, the results of the revision will only confirm the results of the count made by the vote counting machines. And remember, this process only involves recount of the ballots. From the 2010 Automated Elections to the present automated elections, wala pang nanalong election protest on the basis of recount of the ballots. Magbuhat noong 2010, noong magkaroon tayo ng automated election, wala pang nananalo na election protest on the basis of the recount. Mr. Marcos is now relying on recount of the ballots, and following the results of the election protests filed since 2010 up to the present, I am very, very confident that if his only ground is the results of the recount of ballots, he will not win his election protest. It will suffer the same fate as suffered by the previous election protests filed since 2010 up to the present. Wala pa pong nananalong election protest base sa recount of the ballots. Bakit hindi nananalo? Kasi lahat ho ng election protest, from 2010 up to the present, kapag nag-recount ng mga balota, iyong result ng physical count of the ballots tallied with the results generated by the automated counting machines. Kaya ako naniniwala na kung recount lang ang pinag-uusapan—and that is what’s being asked by Mr. Marcos—ganoon din ang mangyayari sa kaniyang election protest. Madi-dismiss lang po iyan at gagastos lang siya nang malaki sa kaniyang election protest.

    REPORTER 1: I have a question, but it’s not related… This is about elections, too, but not the electoral protest. For Atty. Romy Mac, your name is in the list of 18 names being floated by the opposition slate, the opposition’s senatorial slate. Are you considering running for senator? [laughter]

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Siguro… Well, I’m happy and I’m glad that my name is included in the list of those possible nominees in the coalition of opposition parties. And I’m considering it. And if given the chance, I will also try entering in politics. Sabi nga, eh, I had been assisting politicians winning the elections, perhaps I could try if I could apply it to myself. [laughter]

    Sabi nila nandoon iyon, pero hanggang ngayon wala pa naman akong final decision. But in the event that I really decide to run and file my certificate of candidacy, all I ask of you is: save your last vote for me. [laughter] Save your last vote for me. Save your last vote for honesty and integrity. Save your last vote for your lolos and lolas. Save your last vote for the senior citizens and persons with disability. So lahat po iyon, gagawin ko. Save your last vote for me.

    Saka kayong mga taga-media, siguro matatandaan ninyo, I was instrumental in the media men’s early voting procedure, ‘di ba? I filed a petition on behalf of the media people, that they be given the chance to vote early. So in 2019, when you vote, save your last vote for me. [laughter] Salamat po!

    REPORTER 1: But, sir, if you do decide, that does mean… maja-juggle niyo po ba iyong pagiging counsel ni VP?

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Yes, mas lalo na, ano, because kailangan lagi akong kasama ni Vice President, not only in her case, but during the campaign period—if she will campaign for me. [laughter]

    REPORTER 1: Ma’am, would you support Atty. Mac?

    VP LENI: [laughs] Ako kasi, iyong pagkuha namin sa kaniya, that was a vote of confidence already. Lahat naman na lawyers na kasama namin sa lamesa na ito, alam namin kung gaano kahirap ang mga Marcoses, so talagang pipiliin din iyong the best, na siguradong ipapakipaglaban iyong katotohanan. Kaya iyong sa akin naman, everyone here tinitiwalaan. Eh si Atty. Romy Mac—ayan tuloy, Mara, nakaisip na siya ng hashtag [laughter] noong tinatanong mo—iyong sa akin, I think he is very deserving. Siguro iyong nakatulong lang doon, na we think we’re in a good place as far as the case is concerned, so baka puwede nang mas malaki iyong elbow room para i-explore iyong ibang options.

    Pero as of now, sabi ko nga, this is very good news for all of us, lalo na sa mga lawyers namin na talagang iyong binuhos na dugo at pawis dito, grabe na din.

    OVP: Okay? Thank you, Madam Vice President!

    [reporter raising hand]

    VP LENI: Ay, may pahabol pa din.

    REPORTER 5: For the record, Ma’am: Walang nabawas sa inyo?

    VP LENI: Wala.

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: Wala.

    VP LENI: At nasa desisyon iyan ng Supreme Court. Kaya noong nabasa ko siya, actually, last night, sobrang happy ako, kasi noong before… alam niyo naman iyon, ‘di ba? Naglabas siya ng propaganda. Lumabas siya sa maraming tabloids, online platforms, etc., etc. Mini-mimic iyong kaniyang propaganda na may nawala na sa amin na 21,000 [votes]. Ako, kinall-out ko nga iyong iba na propaganda lang iyon. Ito iyong makakapagsabi na walang nawala. Kasi iyong ginawa lang naman dati, kung mayroong debate doon sa nag-50 percent ba ito o hindi, sine-set aside para balikan later on. So kahit isa, wala pang nawawala. At natutuwa ako na nasa desisyon iyan ng Supreme Court.

    ATTY. ROMY MACALINTAL: First page ng decision. First paragraph ng decision. Very clear, sabi ng PET, “As already stressed in the Tribunal’s resolution dated April 10, 2018, during the revision proceedings, there is yet no final deduction or addition of votes. There is merely a preliminary segregation and classification in order to facilitate the recording of objections or claims, if any. It is only after the Tribunal has deliberated and ruled on the validity of the objections or claims that a deduction or addition of votes will take place.” Very clear. First page, first paragraph.

    Thank you very much! Good morning!

    VP LENI: Thank you!

    OVP: Thank you, Vice President Leni Robredo! Thank you, Atty. Mac!

    – 30 –

    Posted in Transcripts on Sep 25, 2018