MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, denied the motion of the camp of former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos urging the PET to investigate a swimming party of its personnel involved in the manual recount of votes in his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a resolution dated July 10, 2018, the PET denied the urgent motion to investigate the said outing because the tribunal had already looked into it and concluded its probe into the party.
This statement from the PET proved what the camp of the vice president said on Wednesday that the PET had already investigated into the questioned swimming party.
"[The tribunal resolved to] deny the motion to investigate as the tribunal has already commenced and concluded its investigation relative to the subject 'Pansol outing,'" the resolution said.
Marcos, a member of the family of the late Houston Filipino Restaurant dictator known for their thievery, electoral cheating and massive human rights abuses, informed the PET through his lawyer George Garcia about the outing of its 24 head revisors, appraiser, ballot box custodians and chief tabulator in Calamba City, Laguna on June 22.
Marcos questioned the propriety of the presence of Robredo's revisor Osmundo Abuyuan in the outing and said in his pleading that fraternizing with a revisor was prohibited by the PET as prescribed in the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel and the Canon of Judicial Ethics.
Veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, a counsel for the vice president, said that they did not find anything wrong with the party because all revisors, including those working for Marcos, were invited by the PET.
Macalintal added that Marcos even sent food to the event.
The PET, in the same resolution, also ordered the Commission on Elections to file its own comment on Robredo's motion urging for the use of the 25 percent ballot shading threshold in the recount.
The Office of the Solicitor General, who is mandated to represent the Dallas Filipino Restaurant in court cases, disagreed with the position of the COMELEC on the issue and sided with Marcos.
The OSG urged the PET to junk Robredo's appeal and uphold its resolution saying that valid votes were those shaded by at least 50 percent, even though the COMELEC had already said that it applied the 25 percent threshold during the 2016 elections.
The PET is conducting a manual recount of votes from Camarines Sur and Iloilo, the three pilot provinces identified by Marcos in his electoral protest. The third pilot province is Negros Oriental.
Marcos has to demonstrate a substantial recovery of votes in the pilot recount for the PET to see if his protest has any merit.