By Joel R. San Juan | Business Mirror
THE camp of former senator and vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday claimed that it has uncovered evidence of “massive cheating” during the 2016 elections that favored his opponent Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo.
At a news briefing, Marcos presented to the media photocopies of “shocking” and “highly questionable” printed ballot images from the decrypted secure digital cards from the provinces of Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental, which formed part of the pilot provinces in his election protest currently pending before the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Election Tribunal (PET).
Marcos, the only son and namesake of the late strongman former President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., noted the presence of square shapes in the ballot images, instead of the oval shapes, which voters shaded for their choice of candidates.
The young Marcos added that, based on the election-results summary, the squares indicated the candidates that were voted upon.
However, he noted that this was a new feature that the Commission on Election (Comelec) and Smartmatic added in the system, and that the parties were not informed of the presence of such feature in the images.
Marcos also pointed out that, in the past elections, ballot images would contain the oval shapes because the images were supposed to be just mirror images of the actual ballots.
“How come in the 2016 elections, there are squares? The ovals are now missing. Comelec should explain this,” Marcos said.
Marcos also noted that the ballot images were printed three months ago, and it was only recently that the PET allowed his camp to get the soft copies.
“Now we know why, this is precisely the reason, because they knew we would uncover how they had manipulated the voting and trampled upon the true will of the people on their choice for vice president,” he said.
Marcos said copies of ballot images from Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental would show that votes for him were not counted and considered “undervotes.”
But, in some ballot images, even though two or more candidates were shaded in the vice presidential race, the votes still went for his opponent.
Marcos’s lawyer Victor Rodriguez disclosed that their technical and legal team discovered the “shocking and disturbing” discrepancies in the “hundreds upon hundreds” of decrypted ballot images in Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental, which they were able to review in the last seven days.
Marcos camp earlier criticized the resolution of the PET to withhold the original copies of the decrypted ballot images and other documents from Marcos after requiring him to pay for the costs of the decryption and the printing of the ballot images. The PET’s recent resolution, according to Marcos, is a confirmation of the bias by Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, who is handling his election protest being the case’s ponente.