PET recount nearing completion, report that it was suspended “fake news”

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The Presidential Electoral Tribunal on Tuesday announced in a rarely issued press statement that the historic manual recount in former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo was nearing conclusion.

This belied earlier reports that the recount was indefinitely suspended by PET.

The tribunal pointed out that there was no order suspending the recount as a whole, which several court insiders called “fake news.”

“Not true, fake news. Be careful with rumors,” a source said.

PET clarified that the recount was deferred on two precints only due to ballot issues.

“The recount was deferred in precinct 8 of Tanjay City, Negros Oriental due to wet ballots and other issues. The head revisor was directed to use decrypted ballot images instead. Also, the recount in clustered precinct 42 in Brgy. Sabang Valencia because there was no election return in the ballot box,” the source bared.

“The revision will proceed as to all other contested precincts,” the insider stressed.

According to PET, the revision of ballots in the pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental were almost completed, except for a few ballot boxes with wet or damaged ballots in some polling precints.

“The Tribunal directed the Revision Committee (RC) to use the decrypted ballot images provided by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). The revision proceedings for the remaining ballot boxes and decrypted ballot images will continue on January 28, 2019. In the interim, the Tribunal shall prepare for the use of decrypted ballot images in the revision proceedings,” the PET said in a rarely issued statement.

PET continued that after the revision, it will proceed with the appreciation proceedings “to rule on all objections and manifestations from parties.”

Afterwards, PET will now establish if there were valid grounds to either dismiss the case or proceed with the recount in other contested provinces.

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