Robredo's lawyer refuses to sign Marcos' 'manifestation'

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 7) — Vice President Leni Robredo's lawyer on Wednesday signed the joint motion to withdraw all pending motions at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal for the vote recount, but it was not the one already signed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos.

Romulo Macalintal, Robredo's lead counsel, said Marcos committed a "great blunder" by sending them a wrong document.

"Mister Marcos changed his mind. Nagbago siya ng isip, mukhang natakot siya sa joint motion," Macalintal said.

Macalintal said Marcos prepared a joint manifestation, and not a joint motion.

"Ang manifestation is just that-a manifestation. You are just telling the Court, 'meron po sana kaming kasunduan'," he said.

Macalintal also cited a Supreme Court decision stating that manifestations are made "merely for the information of the Court."

Marcos' Spokesperson Vic Rodriguez challenged Robredo on Sunday to withdraw all outstanding motions so they could "go straight to the recount."

Robredo's camp on Tuesday accepted the challenge, saying they also do not want to delay the ballot recount.

On the same day, Marcos said he had already signed the joint motion, further daring Robredo to do the same.

Macalintal also insisted they don't have any pending motion before the tribunal.

"Sino ba ang may pending motion? Si Mr. Marcos! Siya ang nagde-delay! Bakit? Because he has a pending motion for reconsideration on the resolution of the Supreme Court allowing us to have copies of the ballot images," he said.

The ballot images allegedly show irregularities in the counting of votes in favor of Robredo.

Macalintal added part of their motion is to ask the tribunal to drop Marcos' appeal, throwing the challenge to sign the correct motion back to the former senator's camp.

On June 29, 2016, Marcos filed the election protest versus Robredo before the Supreme Court, sitting as the PET.

In its grant of Marcos' plea, the PET decided upon Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental as the pilot provinces for the ballot recount.

Earlier, Marcos identified the three provinces as "best exemplifying fraud or irregularities" in his protest brief.

Robredo also listed three provinces in her own counter-protest brief: Capiz, Sulu, and North Cotabato.

Her camp maintained the election protest of Marcos is based on general allegations and manufactured evidence designed to sway the results in his favor.

The PET has required Marcos to pay P66 million and Robredo P15 million in two tranches to fund their protests and counter-protests. A petitioner needs to pay P500 per contested precinct.