Bongbong unfazed, seeks halt to unofficial count
Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star) - May 10, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. played down yesterday the lead of his rival Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo as the senator expressed confidence that he would win.

Marcos also urged the Comelec to terminate the ongoing unofficial count being conducted by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) because it has reached the 90-percent mark.

Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, campaign adviser of Marcos, said the so-called updates in the unofficial count run counter to exit polls and their own internal survey.

“It is unfortunate that while the whole country was asleep the glitch in the canvassing occurred and from then on we saw a progression of so-called ‘updates’ that showed an alarming and suspicious trend reducing our lead.”

He said De la Cruz informed him that they are sending an urgent request to the Commission on Elections and its citizens’ arm PPCRV to terminate the unofficial count, which now stands at 90.99 percent.

He said in the past, the unofficial count was designed not to be completed to avoid the possibility of confusion and conflict with the official canvass.

He said there is no reason for this not to be the norm this time around.

Communications director Ana de Villa-Singson of PPCRV yesterday said that despite the appeal made by Marcos to stop their unofficial count, they would not comply because it is only the Comelec that could order them to do so.

“It is his right to make an appeal but it is the right of the people to know the results of the election. It is the Comelec that has the authority to stop the airing of results because it is the Comelec that gives us the data at the PPCRV and they give us the permission to show this to the public. We will abide by what Comelec tells us to do,” said Singson.

As of 4:30 p.m. yesterday, Marcos was trailing Robredo by 210,929 votes.

Robredo had 13,605,015 votes against Marcos’ 13,394,086.

De la Cruz said they would ask the Comelec to stop releasing unofficial results because the origin of the votes has not been established.

“We are certain that we will win this election. Our internal survey is quite reflective of the Social Weather Stations survey exit polls that showed Marcos leading the vice presidential survey with 34.9 percent as against Rep. Leni Robredo’s 32.5 percent,” he said.

Marcos claimed yesterday that “Plan B” of the ruling Liberal Party is now working in favor of his rival Robredo.

The supposed plan B is to insure the victory of Robredo and LP congressional bets who will initiate the impeachment of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte once he assumes the presidency.

Marcos alleged that many of the results from his bailiwicks in the so-called Solid North or Ilocos region have not been reflected in the partial and unofficial quick count of the PPCRV.

He was referring to results from Pangasinan, Isabela and other northern provinces.

He added that some of the results have not yet been transmitted because of protests in the local level but for the others, he saw no reason why their transmission should be stopped.

Marcos explained that this was the reason why his lead of one million votes started to go down before 12 a.m. on Tuesday until he was supposedly overtaken by Robredo.

Marcos cautioned that operators in Mindanao are also allegedly trying to manipulate the election results in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

De la Cruz said Marcos is monitoring the conduct of the canvassing through his own “quick-count” center in his campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

Marcos earlier said his quick-count center would enable him and his team to closely monitor the elections and the election results.

“The reason why we invited the media is for everyone to see that we have our own internal quick-count to make it faster and we could see the results and we could compare it to the Comelec official results,” he said.

Lawyer Amor Amorado, head of the quick-count center, explained that raw data from the election returns would be given to the center from the PPCRV that is connected to a server.

“We have people in the PPCRV who are connected to the Transparency Server who will give us raw data from the election returns from the VCMs,” Amorado said.

Meanwhile, one lone supporter of Marcos staged a protest in front of the Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila to seek a manual recount of election results.

Holding a white cartolina paper containing her written appeal to the Comelec, 34-year-old Merryle Manuel stood quietly in front of the Comelec office for hours.

Manuel said she will not stop going to the Comelec until her appeal for a manual recount of the elections results for the vice presidential race is heard by the poll body.

“I just like to fight for my vote for Marcos,” Manuel said.

Online word war

The children of vice presidential candidates Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo have indirectly engaged online over allegations of poll cheating.

In his Twitter account on Monday night, the senator’s son Sandro noted differences in the total number of votes for president and vice president based on partial and unofficial election results released by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and different media networks.

“Also the total votes for president are not the same total for the vice president. What the hell #DayaangMatuwid,” Sandro said, in a pun on the administration’s campaign slogan daang matuwid.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, generated responses informing the younger Marcos that the difference is possible due to abstention or over voting.

Marcos expressed alarm that the difference between the total votes for president and vice president is around two million.

The tweets of the son of the senator were posted after Robredo started catching up with Marcos, who initially enjoyed a lead of up to almost a million votes.

Robredo later overtook the senator and is currently leading by almost 200,000 votes based on partial/unofficial results at around 2:30 p.m. yesterday.

In an apparent response to Marcos’ son, Robredo’s daughter Aika posted a photo with the text “Walang #DayaangMatuwid. Ang mayroon lang, #ProgresiBongMandaramBong,” a pun on the senator’s campaign slogan.

“Never again!! Laban Leni!! Ang laban ni Leni ay laban nating lahat. Papasok pa ang ang mga boto sa balwarte natin!! Sabay-sabay tayong magdasal at lumaban #LabanLeni,” added Aika. On Twitter, the younger Marcos said he has not deleted his tweet, and posted “frustration and anger get the best of us.”

In a follow-up tweet yesterday, Sandro urged the public to watch out for the results of the overseas absentee voting.

“Please keep in mind the OFW exit polls had a Duterte-Marcos win by far, if something else comes out later, then something is up,” he said. – With Janvic Mateo, Mayen Jaymalin

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