Four PET head revisors in VP ballot recount resign

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 3) — Four of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) head revisors for the manual ballot recount on the vice presidency have resigned on Tuesday.

The PET has yet to reveal the reason behind the revisors' resignation.

Former senator and vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos said his camp was "surprised and concerned" with the withdrawal.

"I hope this will not result in another round of delays especially now that we have started to uncover clear signs of fraud. They are no ordinary revisors, having undergone rigid psychological test and meticulous screening by the PET," Marcos said in a statement.

He also said the revisors must have a compelling reason for backing out.

"I am one with the Filipino people in asking why," he added.

The job of a head revisor is crucial as he or she supervises the revision committee and examines the content of each ballot box and determine the votes for Vice President Leni Robredo and Marcos.

Robredo's lawyer Beng Sardillo, meanwhile, said: "It is unfortunate as this will once more cause delay in the proceedings."

The recount began on Monday, two years after Marcos brought his electoral protest to the Supreme Court.

The PET ad hoc committee said it can set up only 40 committees, but the tribunal has committed to opening 10 more.

Each committee is composed of a head revisor - who is PET employee - and one representative for each of the two candidates.

Head revisors are carefully picked as the revision committees face a huge task, which would be performed within a given time frame.

They must process the results of over 5,000 clustered precincts from three pilot provinces chosen by Marcos: Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.

In places where there are less than 300 ballots, they must finish the recount in five and a half hours. For 300 to 699 ballots, they only have a little more than eight hours. And for more than 700 ballots, they're given 11 hours.

Should there be objections or claims by either of the parties, the PET would have the last say.

This is the first time ever that the PET will be doing a recount. Unfortunately, the counting is off-limits to media, and the tribunal would only issue announcements should the need arise.

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.