As camp appeals for 25-percent threshold in recount
VP Leni vows: Hindi tayo papayag na manakaw ang panalo natin
Vice President Leni Robredo vowed anew to staunchly defend her historic, hard-earned victory in the 2016 elections, as her lawyers asked the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to reconsider its decision and instead apply the same 25% threshold observed during the 2016 elections.
VP Leni accompanied her lawyers, Romulo Macalintal and Maria Bernadette Sardillo, at the Supreme Court in Manila on Thursday, April 19, 2018, when they filed a motion for reconsideration over the PET’s decision to implement a 50-percent threshold percentage in the recount, which has begun for the three pilot provinces chosen by Bongbong Marcos in his electoral protest—Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.
Addressing hundreds of supporters after the filing, VP Leni said she will continue to fight for the victory she and the people rightfully earned in the 2016 polls.
“[I]yong laban na ito, hindi na lang po ito laban sa amin ni Marcos. Iyong laban pong ito, laban para mabigyan ng kaluluwa iyong ating kagustuhan na pinaabot natin noong nakaraang eleksyon—ito po, ang hiniling natin, na mabilang nang tama iyong inyong mga boto—at ito po iyong ipinaglalaban natin ngayon,” she said.
While reiterating her respect for the process of the Court, the Vice President said they are asking for a reconsideration of the decision on the ground that the same rules used in the 2016 elections should also apply in the recount.
“Hinihingi po natin sa Korte na i-reconsider iyong kaniyang naging desisyon, at ang hinihingi lang naman po natin, bigyan tayo ng patas na laban,” she said. “Ang hinihingi po natin, na kung ano iyong batayan noong pagbilang ng mga boto noong eleksyon, at kung ano iyong batayan ng pagboto ng lahat ng kandidato, iyon din sana iyong batayan na gamitin sa atin.”
In their motion, Macalintal, a seasoned election lawyer, noted that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had sent to the PET its resolution mandating the 25-percent threshold, in September 2016—a “legal and lawful basis” to determine whether a vote should be treated as valid.
The Vice President’s lead counsel argued that the application of the 50-percent threshold will make the physical count inconsistent with the results of the automated count, and may lead to a false notion that Marcos successfully proved substantial recovery in his electoral protest.
Hundreds of supporters in white trooped to the Supreme Court to reaffirm their support for VP Leni. Among those who joined the gathering were former Commission of Human Rights chair Loretta “Etta” Rosales and former Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio.
“Ako ay pumarito para suportahan ang MR na ipa-file ni VP Leni, sapagkat siya naman talaga ang tunay na VP ng ating bansa at ngayon, gustong baguhin ang patakaran ukol sa shading,” said Panlilio, also the founder of Kaya Natin movement.
For her part, Rosales urged the public to come together and fight for the integrity of their votes, as well as of the whole democratic process.
“We must really come together because first of all, it’s the integrity of the vote of VP Leni and she must uphold this because this is part of the democratic process and secondly, we do not want authoritarianism to take over, which is the legacy of the Marcoses,” Rosales said.
Sr. Mary John Mananzan, one of those at the forefront of the EDSA revolution, also joined the march and stressed her support for the Vice President and her bid for the 25-percent threshold percentage at the recount.
Nina Yuson of the Piso Para sa Laban ni Leni movement also called on women who voted for VP Leni to “speak out” and fight for their votes.
“I think women should speak out because we are also women of conscience, we care for our children, we care for our families, and we care for our country. We cannot keep silent when there is injustice,” said Yuson, among the leaders of the movement, which raised some P7.4 million from thousands of Filipinos, initially meant to help the Vice President pay her remaining cash deposit for the protest.
The PET turned down the request of “Piso” to pay the cash deposit in VP Leni’s behalf. The group then donated the funds to the Office of the Vice President’s Angat Buhay program. The money was used to build the first 60 transitionary shelters at the Angat Buhay Village in Marawi City, for families displaced by the months-long siege.
Meanwhile, the Pambansang Kilusan ng Samahan ng Magsasaka (PAKISAMA), a group of around 56,000 farmers, fishermen, and indigeous peoples, expressed hopes that the PET will respect the Comelec rules over the threshold percentage.