Robredo hits Marcos' 'contagious lying' to discredit recount results

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Former Senator Bongbong Marcos (L) and Vice President Leni Robredo (R)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 19) — Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday criticized former Senator Bongbong Marcos for spreading what she called lies as his camp continues to reject her win in the recount that was supposed to junk his election protest.

"Ang hindi ko naiintindihan kasi parang iyong pagsisinungaling, nakakahawa pala. Kasi pati iyong abogado nagsisinungaling na rin," Robredo told reporters when asked about the claim of Marcos' lawyer she was celebrating a "fake victory."

[Translation: What I can't understand is it seems lying is contagious. Even his lawyer is now telling lies.]

Marcos' legal counsel, Vic Rodriguez, on Friday said the figures presented in Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa's dissenting opinion were "outrageous," that's why the rest of the justices, except Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, voted not to dismiss the poll protest.

These numbers were however cited by the Supreme Court itself, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, in its resolution. It confirmed Robredo's earlier claims that her lead grew by 15,000 after the recount of ballots from Iloilo, Negros Oriental, and her bailiwick Camarines Sur – areas that Marcos himself had chosen.

Robredo reiterated that Marcos had representatives during the recount, so they were fully aware she had really beaten him in the vice presidential race. She said this is exactly why the Marcos camp is now requesting the nullification of votes in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Basilan, claiming there was also "massive fraud" in these areas.

Robredo dismissed Marcos' claim as an attempt to discredit results of the recount.

"Parang ang pinapalabas nila ngayon, dahil talo sila sa recount, ginagawa pa nilang kaduda-duda iyong Presidential Electoral Tribunal when in fact, mayroon silang sariling watchers doon," Robredo said.

[Translation: What they want to happen, since they lost in the recount, is to cast doubts on the Presidential Electoral Tribunal when in fact, they had watchers there.]

Robredo maintained that any move to include more areas in another recount will go against the rules of the PET. Rule 65 states that a protestant should choose for recount not more than three provinces "best exemplifying the frauds or irregularities alleged in his petition." This is the rule cited by Caguioa and Carpio in voting to dismiss Marcos' electoral protest.

The high court voting 11-2 on Tuesday did not junk the case but only ordered Robredo and Marcos to comment on the results of the recount. Then Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin said this would give both parties the chance to air their sides, especially if they feel "prejudiced by any conclusions of that report."

Marcos lodged an electoral protest against Robredo on June 30, 2016, questioning the results of the May 2016 vice presidential polls. Robredo was proclaimed vice president after clinching a lead of 263,473 votes against Marcos.

The case has been pending for more than three years under three different Chief Justices. It was lodged during the time of Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was ousted by the Supreme Court in a historic ruling. Teresita Leonardo de Castro then served a 40-day stint, followed by Bersamin, who had also retired on Friday. President Rodrigo Duterte will now choose the fourth Chief Justice under his administration and the fourth top judge to lead the PET in handling the electoral protest. Included in the shortlist are Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, and Andres Reyes.