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Robredo’s grounds

“Should Robredo’s continued incumbency be anchored on a mere recount, then the protest remains unsettled.

Dean Dela Paz

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If we analyze the grounds upon which the premature arguments that Leonor Robredo’s rabid supporters are basing their confidence on, hoping for a victory at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), then it is easy to see that their basis is limited to a recount of ballots in a limited three pilot area universe representing the total electorate.

Unfortunately there is an underlying assumption both by her camp and even by the PET body reviewing the protest that the issue surrounding the protest is merely a matter of voting numbers.

Note the verbiage of their recent announcements as they rely on the possible drafting of a favorable decision to be penned by Benigno Aquino III appointee Supreme Court Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa.

This shows the fatal flaw of the protest protocols at the PET. It’s investigative process essentially outdated and anachronistic where its solutions are limited to nothing more than a recount.

Simply sweep up the dust from the layer of dust gathering in the slow-burn vice-presidential poll protest and one quickly realizes that the ground Robredo stands on is shallow.

In a nutshell, the PET must be brought into the age of 21st century innovative poll cheating and the very real possibility that fraud can indeed be at the hands of the state as ruling political parties perpetuate themselves.

It is funny that no one is bothered by the ugly optics of an Aquino appointee and schoolmate tasked to pen a decision that would by any measure be so controversial that, either way, it will fail to settle a matter so divisive and so fraud-ridden, that, however it decides the current protest, it can only tarnish the Supreme Court.

When we took great pains to exorcise the High Court of its partisan demons then infected by the reckless appointment of not only an unqualified lawyer but one with integrity issues, the resulting independence achieved from that ugly episode is now being jeopardized by an issue likewise tainted by the ugliest images of partisan politics. Note the aberrant optics where the tribunal is assessing the protest along crusted anachronistic standards that fail to take into account high technology cheating modes set in play in 2016.

To understand, allow us to quickly go through a list of anomalies that were not only revealed to have occurred wholesale during the 2016 polls but were reported enough to the extent that the resulting poll protest investigations should have addressed, not simply the results of poll anomalies, but the various modus then employed. At stake is the PET’s credibility and the credibility of the Supreme Court itself.

In analyzing, remember that the ruling party that oversaw the 2016 elections was the Liberal Party (LP). Why is this important? Recall that one of the most important platform programs of the LP was their three presidential term blueprint. It was not enough that they had through Aquino a six-year term. According to their grandiose game plan, to complete their ambitions they required a total of three successive presidencies or a minimum of 18 years in office. Such lust for power not simply necessitated handovers from Aquino to his successor but the employment of all means and state agencies necessary to insidiously work the boiler room.

Here’s a list of questions that highlight anomalies a mere recount cannot address.

How does a recount address deliberate electronic tampering operated by the state and the counting machine provider? Same for spoiled, missing, unreadable or destroyed election returns.

How does a recount account for the unexplained deposits of a fugitive Commission on Elections official? How does a recount in three pilot areas address non-voting or filled-in ballots by single entities as it occurs in the South? How does a recount address votes invalidated by strange identifying marks on unspoiled ballots?

Should Robredo’s continued incumbency be anchored on a mere recount, then the protest remains unsettled. Unfortunately it won’t be a zero sum. The Supreme Court sitting as the PET will have again lost its fragile credibility.

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