FORMER Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday, January 29 presented what he claimed as “evidence” to support his electoral protest against Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
In a press conference, Marcos showed “highly questionable” copies of several ballot images from 12 towns in Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental, which supposedly indicate fraud during the 2016 polls.
Among the electoral documents presented by Marcos’ camp include a ballot image from San Nicolas, Iriga City in Camarines Sur.
In the document, the oval corresponding to the slots for Robredo and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV were both shaded, but only Robredo’s was enclosed with a square among other vice presidential candidates.
Marcos questioned why the vote-counting machine (VCM) did not void the vote because of multiple marks.
“Some of the ballots, even if three names for vice president were shaded, as long as there was a ‘square’ beside the name of Mrs. Robredo, the vote will be counted in her favor,” Marcos’ spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez said.
He continued, “The question now is what is the significance of that box? They always say that we should shade the oval shaped spot [to indicate our choice candidate]. Nothing was mentioned about a square.”
Marcos also contested a ballot image which showed that the oval to his name was the only shaded slot for vice presidency but the VCM counted it as an undervote.
The former senator asked, “Why did the votes for me became undervotes and were not counted? Why were the spoiled ballots counted for Robredo? Why did ballots with the same ballot numbers register different results?”
For Marcos, who lost to Robredo by only more than 260,000, such ballots images just prove how her camp “had manipulated the voting and trampled upon the true will of the people on their choice for vice president.”
He further alleged that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic conspired with Robredo to cheat in the 2016 elections.
Robredo’s camp, for its part, labeled Marcos’ latest accusations as “highly ridiculous if not outright frivolous.”
“Knowing the propensity of election losers in our country in filing all sorts of complaints in open display of unwillingness to accept defeat, they could have used such alleged questionable feature of the ballots in filing their election protest,” said Romulo Macalintal, Robredo’s lawyer.
Macalintal added, “The best evidence to prove if ‘hundreds upon hundreds’ of ballots contained the questionable features raised by Marcos are the copies in the custody of the PET (Presidential Electoral Tribunal) and not the self-serving copies of Marcos.”