Friday 14 December, 2018
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Ex-CJ Panganiban warns: Robredo could lose VP post over 50% shading threshold

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Vice President Leni Robredo could be unseated if the Presidential Electoral Tribunal insists on using the 50-percent shading threshold for ballots in the manual recount of votes in the 2016 elections, former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said.

In his June 17 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Panganiban said the 50-percent threshold would “disenfranchise voters who shaded their ballots between the ’25- and 50-percent gap'”– even if their votes were counted during the 2016 elections.

The former Chief Justice said Robredo could lose as much as 64,568 votes in the three “pilot provinces” where former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is contesting the results if the PET upholds the 50-percent shading threshold.

This loss, Panganiban said, is significant considering that Robredo’s lead over Marcos was only 263,473.

“Using again the 50-percent threshold, the total recount could– repeat, could– have the unintended consequence of overturning Leni’s lead, not because of cheating but because of a mere shading loophole that disenfranchised proportionately many more of her voters than Bongbong’s,” he said.

Panganiban called the use of the 50-percent threshold “unfair” not only to Robredo but to the electorate.

The former Chief Justice said using the 25-percent threshold set by the Commission on Elections in 2016 will resolve the controversy in the manual recount.

He said it will be better if the PET reruns the secured data (SD) cards containing digital copies of the ballots in the concerned precincts, as it did in previous polls.

Panganiban said the government will not only save money by re-running the SD cards but it will also be a “fairer and faster” way of resolving the electoral protest.

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