Macalintal: Marcos questioning poll transmission, canvassing he already accepted
Vice President Leni Robredo and her lead election lawyer Romulo Macalintal are urging the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to use the 25-percent threshold in evaluating vote validity.
The STAR/Edd Gumban
Macalintal: Marcos questioning poll transmission, canvassing he already accepted
Audrey Morallo ( - July 30, 2018 - 4:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos is being "consistently inconsistent" by assailing the integrity of the transmission and canvassing of results in the 2016 polls after having already accepted them, according to the lead election counsel of Vice President Leni Robredo.

In a statement on Monday, Robredo lead election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said that Marcos' criticism of the transmission and canvassing of results is inconsistent with his approval of the process just after the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, junked his first cause of action.

Marcos' first cause of action questioned the integrity of the election's transmission and canvassing.

After its junking, Marcos said then: "We respect it as we have exactly where we wanted it to be — the manual recount and judicial revision.”

"This only shows how Marcos could be consistently inconsistent," Macalintal said.

Marcos is a former Philippine senator and is the son of the late strongman whose 21-year rule was marked by massive human rights violations, corruption and electoral cheating.

Robredo's lead election counsel also denied the accusion of Marcos, whom he called as an "election loser who could not accept defeat in good grace," that the Commission on Elections conspired in the alleged electoral fraud orchestrated by the camp of the vice president.

Last week, the Comelec backed Robredo's position that a 25-percent threshold should be used in ascertaining vote validity because it was the threshold used in the actual polls.

Through its comment, the Comelec said it "has decided to calibrate the automated voter counting system for the May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections to read as valid votes, marks that cover at least about 25 percent (when seen by human eyes) of the oval for each candidate."

Marcos camp calls Comelec 'co-conspirator'

This did not sit well with the camp of Marcos, and his spokesman, Vic Rodriguez, accused the Comelec, without proof, of being a "co-conspirator" in the alleged cheating during the 2016 election.

The spokesman for Robredo, Barry Gutierrez, labeled the accusation as laughable and said that the camp of Marcos was "pulling every stunt out of the cheater's playbook."

"Now that the Comelec clearly clarified that the vote counting machines would read ballots shaded within the 25 percent threshold, he is once again raising the issue of the integrity of the election system, which the PET had dismissed “for being pointless and meaningless” and is now practically abandoning his position that the ballots are the best evidence in an election protest," Macalintal said.

Macalintal said that Marcos' reliance on the 50-percent threshold rule could not prevail on the position of the Comelec, adding that to use a different standard from that used during the 2016 polls would be tantamount to questioning the legitimacy of every winner, from the president down to the province council member.

The lawyer for the vice president said that Marcos' criticism of the Comelec showed that he was afraid of the truth in his electoral case.

He also challenged Marcos to use the digital images of the ballots to determine the true results of the elections.

"The use of ballot images is the most expeditious way of resolving an election protest in an automated election," he said.

Robredo defeated Marcos by more than 260,000 votes in 2016, a result that the former senator is questioning because the vote was supposedly tampered with.

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