Recount might start this month – Marcos

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Bongbong Marcos file
Former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (Reuters file)

MANILA, Philippines — Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he is confident the recount of the contested votes in three provinces for vice president in last year’s elections will finally start this month and eventually prove that he won over Vice President Leni Robredo.

Umaasa kami na sa buwan na ito, October, magsisimula na ang pag-recover ng mga ballot boxes galing sa iba’t ibang lugar batay sa tatlong pilot provinces sa Iloilo, sa Negros Oriental, at saka sa Camarines Sur (We are hoping that this October, the recovery of ballot boxes from the different places in the three pilot provinces, Iloilo, Negros Oriental and Camarines Sur, can begin),” Marcos, who filed an electoral protest against the election results, said Thursday, October 5.

He said once the ballot boxes reach Manila, these will be taken to the Supreme Court, which will sit as the presidential electoral tribunal, and the recount will begin.

Kami ay tiyak na tiyak na lalabas na ang resulta at makikita na hindi naging tama ang pagbilang sa nakaraang halalan sa bise president (We are certain the results will show that the counting of votes in the last vice presidential election was not correct),” Marcos said.

He added there should be no more obstacles to the recount ate he paid the P66 million required by the high court.

Although Marcos has asked for the recount of votes in 36 provinces, it was in the three pilot provinces where, he claimed, the worst “undervote” happened.

He said the PET has already formed an exploratory team to study how the ballots will be transported to Manila.

“We are waiting for the instructions of the tribunal. Handa na ‘yung sa side namin. Alam ko nagha-hire na ‘yung tribunal ng mga revisor, bibilangin muli ang mga balota (Our side is ready. I know the tribunal is hiring revisors to recount the ballots),” he said.

Illustrating how the recount would be conducted, Marcos said the first days would see one ballot a day counted on each of 50 tables. He estimated it would take at most two months to finish the recount.

Marcos said the issues faced by Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista and the impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno would not affect his electoral protest.

Nevertheless, he claimed that the documents in the hands of Bautista’s estranged wife prove alleged collusion between the Comelec chairman and Smartmatic, the firm that provided the automatic vote-counting machine.

At the same time, he said he would not file charges against Robredo or Bautista if he wins the recount “dahil ang iniintindi ko lang ‘yung resulta (all I am concerned with are the results).”