THE SUPREME Court has deferred acting on the results of a ballot recount in connection with the 2016 electoral protest of former Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. against Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo.
“The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has deferred action on the report,” court spokesman Brain Keith F. Hosaka said in a mobile-phone message yesterday. He didn’t say why.
The Constitution mandates the high court, sitting as an electoral tribunal, to resolve disputes involving the presidential and vice presidential races.
Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa earlier submitted a report on the ballot recount in three pilot provinces where massive cheating allegedly occurred.
Mr. Marcos, son of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, identified the provinces as Iloilo, Negros Oriental and Camarines Sur, which had a total of 5,415 voting precincts in the May 2016 elections.
Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin said last month they were treading carefully in the electoral protest because it was “a matter of public interest.”
In August, Mr. Marcos asked the tribunal to hasten his electoral protest by directing hearing commissioners to set a preliminary conference because the revisions in the pilot provinces had been finished as early as February.
The tribunal in July deferred action on his motion to probe alleged vote-rigging in three more provinces in Mindanao.
It also denied for being filed prematurely the motion of Ms. Robredo to resolve all pending incidents after the revision of ballots.
Mr. Marcos narrowly lost the vice presidential race to Ms. Robredo, who is now halfway through her term.
Also yesterday, Ms. Robredo said that the high tribunal’s decision on the case will be a test of the country’s electoral process and justice system.
“We need to trust the system because this was the electoral process that gave me the victory as well as to our president,” she said in an emailed statement in Filipino, referring to President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
In the Philippines, the president and vice president are elected separately and may come from different parties.
Ms. Robredo noted the if people don’t trust the electoral process, it means all the sitting officials now are fraudulent. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas and Vince Angelo C. Ferreras