The source, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak for the tribunal and due to the gag order issue on the case, revealed that more wet ballots were found in towns in Camarines Sur.
Edd Gumban/File
PET finds ballots soaked in chemicals, jumbled voters’ receipts
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - April 30, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The manual recount of the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on results of the vice presidential election in 2016 has raised more questions.

Revisers last week found ballots that appeared to have been soaked in liquid chemical as well as jumbled election documents during the fourth week of the ongoing recount, according to an insider.

The source, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak for the tribunal and due to the gag order issue on the case, revealed that more wet ballots were found in towns in Camarines Sur.

But this time around, revisers took note of several damaged ballots that had a chemical smell – particularly from Canaman and Garchitorena towns.

“Those ballots were powdery and no longer readable as the prints were erased. That would have not been the case if they were soaked only in water,” the source explained.

It was also found that the PET only managed to retrieve 16 of the 36 ballot boxes from Canaman for still unknown reasons. Of those 16 ballot boxes, 11 had wet contents. There were also ballots that were placed inside a plastic bag in the town.

Also last week, revisers found voter’s receipts that were mixed up with other clustered precincts.

The insider bared that when revisers opened ballot boxes from the town of Gainza in Camarines Sur, the voter’s receipts found inside the boxes did not correspond to their respective clustered precincts but to other precincts. 

The insider, however, would not say if these latest findings could be evidence of tampering of poll results, explaining that their task is just to conduct manual recount and such conclusion should be left for the tribunal to decide upon.

Earlier, the PET’s manual revision of votes of Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. raised several questions.

Revisers have found wet ballot boxes, unused or excess ballots with shaded votes for Robredo, missing audit logs and missing voters’ receipts in towns of Bato, Baao, Balatan, Bula and Sagñay in Camarines Sur.

In the first two weeks, 53 out of the 55 clustered precincts in Bula or 97 percent had no voter’s receipts while 20 out of the 30 clustered precincts in Balatan or 68 percent also had missing receipts.

On the third week, a ballot box from Ocampo town yielded ballots with what appeared to be cigarette burns on their edges and holes in the middle portion. All of them had votes shaded for Robredo.

The same ballot box did not have accompanying election records like election returns, voter’s receipts and minutes of voting. 

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL SUPREME COURT VP RECOUNT
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