THE Supreme Court will be usurping the authority of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) if it won’t follow a Comelec Resolution setting a 25-percent threshold for the manual counting of votes for the 2016 Vice Presidential race, according to a group led by former solicitor general Florin Hilbay.
Manindigan Na issued the statement in connection with a pending appeal by Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo to the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to set the valid vote threshold at 25 percent based on Comelec’s September 2016 Resolution for manual counting and for Vote Counting Machines in the 2016 automated polls.
The manual recount in Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental and Iloilo stemmed from former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s protest against Robredo who defeated him by over 200,000 votes.
“The Comelec’s September 2016 Resolution set the minimum threshold at 25 percent. There is no logical reason for the PET to use a different threshold. By insisting on their own rules, the PET is subverting the will of the voters and usurping the constitutional mandate of the Comelec,” the Hilbay-led group said.
The group was referring to PET’s 50-percent threshold for a valid vote, which was set in the 2010 automated polls.
“We find this move a manipulation to take away votes that were rightly cast for the duly-elected Vice President,” Hilbay said.
Marcos accused Robredo of winning based on fraud, which Robredo denied. LLANESCA T. PANTI
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