Marcos questioned why the votes in some precincts all went to Robredo even though two or more candidates were shaded in the ballots. He said these should have been considered “overvotes.” AP, file | Philstar.com / Efigenio Toledo IV    

Bongbong bares ‘evidence’ of fraud in VP race
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - January 30, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. yesterday bared what he claimed was evidence of fraud in the May 2016 elections to boost his poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

In a press conference in Manila, the late dictator’s son and namesake made public copies of election documents he received from the PET recently that supposedly showed “shocking and highly questionable” poll results in at least two provinces.

Marcos alleged that the images of ballots from polling precincts in several towns in Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental proved how the camp of Robredo “had manipulated the voting and trampled upon the true will of the people on their choice for vice president.”

He said the documents showed that votes for him in the provinces were either not counted or considered undervotes – not counted because of unclear marking by voters.

Marcos questioned why the votes in some precincts all went to Robredo even though two or more candidates were shaded in the ballots. He said these should have been considered “overvotes.”      

“We discovered that my votes were not counted and they made (these) ‘undervotes.’ This is probably why there were more than three million undervotes in the vice presidential race,” he stressed.

“But when it comes to our opponent, they counted for her the votes that belonged to the other candidates,” Marcos alleged, referring to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Robredo.

Marcos also assailed the presence of square shapes in the ballot images.

“When we voted, we had the oval shapes. How come in the ballot images, the ovals are gone and instead we have the squares. What does this mean?” he asked.

“We could see based on the election results summary that the squares indicated the candidates that were voted upon. But this is a new feature that the (Comelec) and Smartmatic added in the system and I had been told they did not inform the candidates of the presence of this feature in the images,” the former senator explained.

He believes the Comelec should explain such anomaly, particularly the substitution of the oval shapes in the ballot with squares.

The former senator, however, did not say how many ballot images from the records they received had such anomalies.

Marcos said he would unveil more evidence of poll fraud against Robredo.

“We will show more proof as we go through the rest of the printed ballot images. They bastardized our democracy and the sense of honesty and integrity of the Filipino people. Their depravity is unprecedented,” he claimed.

Marcos’ lawyer Vic Rodriguez said their technical and legal team reviewed the decrypted ballot images in the provinces for a week after receiving them from the PET.

“We discovered a lot of discrepancies. We could not help but really wonder if the current automated election system is really clean as Comelec and Smartmatic claim it to be,” he said in the same forum.

Rodriguez added they have opted to secure the soft copies of the ballot images since it was the less expensive option than paying once again for the photocopies of the images.

Earlier this month, the PET denied the bid of Marcos to secure original copies of decrypted ballot images and other poll documents for his electoral protest against Robredo. 

The PET rejected the plea of Marcos to keep the original copies of the poll records in the three pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental for the duration of the recount.

The tribunal only allowed the former senator to secure soft copies and photocopies of the decrypted ballot images, election returns and audit logs from contested clustered precincts of the pilot provinces “subject to the payment of incidental costs.”

The camp of Marcos lamented the development as it accused the magistrate in charge of the case, Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, of bias in handling the election protest.  

An appointee and close friend of former president Benigno Aquino III, Caguioa recommends to the tribunal the actions to be taken regarding Marcos’ protest and Robredo’s counter-protest, being the PET member in charge of the case.    

But Robredo is unafraid of the impending recount of votes in connection with the electoral protest filed against her by Marcos as it would only affirm her victory in the May 2016 vice presidential race.

In an interview with dzRH, Robredo also denied Marcos’ allegation that they are delaying the process.

“They (Marcos camp) have a new propaganda on Facebook, where they make us appear that we’re the ones avoiding the recount,” the Vice President said.

“But if you look at what’s happening now, that’s not true. First, we’re not the ones causing the delay. Second, we have been very cooperative with the Supreme Court,” she said. – With Helen Flores

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with