Vice Presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos today bared “a pattern of cheating” to deprive him of his votes in the ongoing Overseas Absentee Voting.
Marcos made the disclosure in a press conference in Ormoc City, Leyte saying he has received several reports over the weekend that votes being cast in his favor are being credited to fellow Vice Presidential candidate Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan.
“Last week, we were just hearing about votes for me not being reflected in my name in Hong Kong but now we have similar reports in Dubai, Kuwait and in Japan. Just this morning, we received another report from Okinawa of the same incident. We are seeing a pattern here,” Marcos declared.
Rep. Martin Romualdez who is running for the Senate also disclosed of a similar incident in Hong Kong where his votes were also not reflected in the voter’s receipts. “I was told by my coordinator in Hong Kong that there were those who voted for me but did not see my name in the receipts and the Comelec officer just responded ‘Noted’ when told about it,” Romualdez lamented.
Marcos then called the attention of the Commission on Elections and service provider Smartmatic to immediately investigate the incidents and not dismiss them outright.
“Dapat imbestigahan agad ng Comelec ito at ng Smartmatic because this does not reflect well on the credibility of the elections. We are very alarmed and very upset about these reports and the Comelec should not take this sitting down,” Marcos asserted.
Marcos further cautioned that if the vote discrepancy is being done abroad, it may happen in a larger scale in the polls on May 9.
“This makes the whole electoral process vulnerable and it will reflect very badly on the credibility of the elections."
Marcos said one of the reports that reached him came from a sibling of a Smartmatic employee.
“These reports are coming from different sources and in different places. If this was just one incident, we could dismiss this as a mere isolated case or a machine glitch but they are happening in places very far apart. This is very very disturbing and the Comelec and Smartmatic should also be concerned about this,” Marcos pointed out.
The Senator also said they have already written the Comelec about the report that took place in Hong Kong last week where an overseas Filipino worker was caught on video complaining that her vote for Marcos went to Honasan in her voter’s receipt.
When she told the election officer about it, the OFW who said she was from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte was told that she could not vote anymore because there is an existing one ballot, one voter policy.
Marcos disclosed that they have brought the Hong Kong incident to the Comelec last week but it would appear that with the succeeding reports, nothing has been done about it.
The Senator stated that they have already told the camp of Honasan about the matter and they are also looking into it. “Senator Honasan is a very honest man and I know that he would not like that votes not for him are being given to him.”
Marcos is reiterating his earlier call for the Comelec to lay down the rules in cases where there are discrepancies in the vote receipts from the actual votes cast.
“If a voter says the content of the receipt is wrong, what shall he or she do? How will he or she make the complaint? What’s the procedure? Kailangan gumawa ng hakbang ang Comelec para pagpasok ng botante sa mga presinto ay alam na nila ang gagawin kung sakaling magkaroon ng ganitong problema,” Marcos concluded.