Marcos ‘desperate’ to cast doubt on VP recount process

MANILA The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said former Senator Ferdinand "Bong Bong" Marcos Jr. is in "desperate" attempt to cast doubt onto the manual vice presidential recount process and labeled as nonsense the pieces of evidence that Marcos presented.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Robredo's legal counsel in a press conference said Mr. Marcos is inventing his own evidence for media purposes and not for legal purposes."

Macalintal said the pieces of evidence the Marcos camp presented were not a solid proof of electoral fraud which is the backbone of Marcos' election protest.

According to Macalintal, Marcos "invented" his first evidence in January 2016 when he shared through media releases that there were 16 secured digital cards allegedly showing massive irregularities in ballot counting.

We challenged him to prove it, we even invited him We waited for him in front of the Manila Cathedral sometime in January, but Mr. Marcos is no show and his lawyers. And until now the SD cards na inimbento niya ay hindi nya naipakita (that he invented, he was not able to show it), Macalintal said.

Marcos' protest, which is almost two years old, kicked off on Monday, April 2. His camp claimed the supposed discoveries of wet ballots and missing audit logs in some ballot boxes from Camarines Sur, Robredo's home province.

He was referring to the small square the ballot vote or ballot shade was insideonly to find out that is a new feature of the 2016 election a feature not available in the 2010 and 2013 elections, Macalintal said.

Macalintal said the audit logs show the movement or operational activities of the voting machines from the first day of the election up to the last transmission process.

As regards the "new and fabricated" evidence in the form of wet of unused ballot boxes, Macalintal said: How could wet ballots be evidence of election fraud? Eh nangyayari yan hindi lang sa (That happens not only in) Camarines Sur but also in other areas These are common occurrences na hindi dapat mabigla si Mr. Marcos.

Macalintal said there is a provision regarding the counting of the wet ballots and both the Presidential Electoral Tribunal and Commission on Elections (Comelec) are aware of it. He said the wet ballots can be counted manually through their individual picture images which will be printed.

As for the unused ballots where Robredo's name was pre-shaded, Macalintal said they were actually rejected ballots.

There were votes indicated in them but when these ballots were inserted into the machines, they weren't counted so they should have been placed inside an envelope labeled rejected ballots. Ang problem kasi sa envelope ng Comelec magkakasama ang unused, rejected or half-torn ballots. Ang nangyayari dahil mabilisan, nagkakamali ang pagka-cross out ng label, Macalintal said.

Macalintal believes that the spokesperson of Marcos, Vic Rodriguez, is the one supplying wrong information and the wrong advice with regard to the proceedings of the recount.

Ang problema kasi eh (The problem is) Mr. Rodriguez is not an election lawyer. He is not the election lawyer of Mr. Marcos. It was Mr. George Garcia Hindi ba kayo nagtataka? (Aren't you wondering?) Why is he not talking about all these nonsense? Because it will be (a) great embarrassment for an election lawyer to say that a wet ballot is an indication of fraud an election lawyer will not say that a missing audit log is an indication of electoral fraud or irregularities...an election lawyer will not say unused ballots are basis of fraud," Macalintal said.

Macalintal added Garcia is not confirming the mentioned items are valid evidence because the election lawyers' group might laugh at him.

According to Macalintal, 33 out of the 39 ballot boxes have already been revised to date. He said the remaining six boxes contain wet ballots; hence, the printed images of the wet ballots will be printed and recounted.

Natutuwa kame dahil (We are happy because) nag-ta-tally ang (the) results ng (of) revision. Walang malaking (There is no big) discrepancy. It only confirms the position of the current vice president, Macalintal added.

Source: Philippine News Agency