Saturday 15 December, 2018
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Ateneo de Manila law students ask OSG to use 25-percent threshold in VP race

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Law students from the Ateneo de Manila University on Friday called on the Office of the Solicitor General to uphold the 25-percent threshold implemented in the 2016 elections in connection with the ongoing manual recount in the vice presidential election between Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

In a two-page letter, they asked Solicitor General Jose Calida to uphold the 25-percent threshold used by the Commission on Elections in the last 2016 elections.

Their plea stemmed from Presidential Electoral Tribunal’s (PET) order asking Comelec to comment on the motion for reconsideration filed by Robredo on the voting threshold for the manual recount.

As counsel for Comelec, the OSG will prepare and file the comment for the poll body.

PET earlier allowed the use of the 50-percent threshold in the recount, rejecting the petition filed by Robredo’s camp for the use of the 25-percent threshold.

The 50-percent threshold was used in the 2010 national and local elections.

“As students of the law, we are imploring your good office as counsel for the COMELEC, to prevent the disenfranchisement of votes and to present the rule as it should be applied,” the students said in their letter to Calida.

They noted that protests filed before the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal were being resolved using the 25-percent threshold.

“With all due respect, it is clear that a standard was used during the 2016 elections, and to change this standard for the recount would necessary result to disenfranchisement of voters,” they added.

The students stressed that the use of 50-percent threshold will affect not just those who voted for Robredo, but also those who voted for losing Marcos.

Among those who signed the letter were Robert Escalante (President, Ateneo Law School Student Council); Xamantha Xofia A. Santos (President, Council of Interns, Ateneo Human Rights Center); Marianne V. de la Cruz (Incoming President, KAPWA); Danica C. Evangelista (Editor-in-Chief, Palladium);

Glyssa Camille G. Soriano (President, Sals); Nicolene S. Arcaina (Intern, Ateneo Human Rights Center); Eloize Angeli M. Dayanghirang (Outgoing President, KAPWA); and Winona Maraiah M. Fajardo (President, Ateneo Law School Choir).

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