Bongbong Marcos to PET: Order technical exam of poll results in 3 Mindanao provinces

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — Former Senator Bongbong Marcos is asking the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to order the technical examination of election results in three provinces in Mindanao in a bid to prove poll fraud in these areas.

To mark the 1000th day of his poll protest on the 2016 vice presidential race, the camp of Marcos filed a motion before the Supreme Court (SC) Tuesday.

The motion is urging the court to act on a pending plea to order the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to look into the precincts in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan.

His lawyer, George Garcia, said there is an urgent need to proceed with the technical exam of remaining precincts in the three provinces, "especially since the Comelec already found evidence of massive fraud" in those areas, where there are 2,756 precincts.

Garcia cited the Comelec's previous technical exam on the election results in the three provinces, which found that in 508 precincts – more than 40,000 signatures and around 3,000 thumbprints in the computerized voters list – were not identical with the voters' registration receipts.

Garcia maintained the tribunal can proceed with the technical exam in the three provinces – even if there's no resolution yet in the three pilot provinces Iloilo, Camarines sur and Negros Oriental.

The Marcos camp also wants the high court to investigate all election personnel who served in the three provinces during the May 9, 2016 elections – to determine their involvement and participation "with respect to the incidents of substituted-voting."

Vice President Leni Robredo's lawyer Romulo Macalintal meanwhile dismissed Marcos' plea, saying it's a just a way to revive his "dying" election protest.

It's not the first time Marcos sought an examination of the poll materials in Mindanao provinces due to electoral fraud allegations. The PET deferred action on his first motion to examine the materials in November 2017, until the initial results of the pending protest are out.

The recount began in April 2018, two years after Marcos brought his electoral protest to the SC sitting as the PET. He lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes in the 2016 polls.