The electoral fraud truth is out there in the images showing spoiled ballots counted in then Vice Presidential candidate Leni Robredo’s favor.
So said the camp of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos who yesterday bared what he called “solid and incontrovertible” evidence of massive fraud that had transpired during the May 2016 national and local elections.
In a press conference held at Max’s Restaurant in Manila, Marcos’ camp furnished members of the media who were present with photocopies of several “shocking” and “highly questionable” ballot images from 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).
“They keep on delaying in giving us the copies. It has been three months since the ballot images were printed and it was only recently that the PET allowed us to get the soft copies. Now we know why. This is shocking and highly questionable. This is precisely the reason 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,” Marcos said.
He stated that they have discovered numerous pieces of evidence of poll fraud on the printed ballot images after they secured some of the soft copies of the ballot images from the PET from some of the clustered precincts in several towns in their two pilot areas, namely Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental.
Comelec has yet to start the decryption of the SD cards from Iloilo.
Marcos questioned the presence of square shapes in the ballot images instead of the oval shapes which voters shaded for their choice of candidates.
“When we voted, we had the oval shapes. How come in the ballot images, the ovals are gone and instead we have the squares. What does this mean?,” Marcos said.
He added, “we could see based on the election results summary that the squares indicated the candidates that were voted upon. But this is a new feature that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic added in the system and I had been told they did not inform the candidates of the presence of this feature in the images.”
He also pointed out that in the previous elections, the 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.
He also showed copies of ballot images from Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental that showed that votes for him were not counted and considered undervotes.
He also said that in some of the ballot images, even though two or more candidates were shaded in the vice presidential race, the votes still went for his opponent, former Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo instead of being considered “overvotes”.
“We discovered a lot such as when the voters voted for me, these votes were not counted amd just categorized them as undervotes.
No wonder the undervotes for the vice presidency are more than 3 million. But when it comes to my rival (Robredo) even when these are not counted for me, but the votes are still for her,” he pointed out.
Atty. Vic Rodriguez, spokesman of Marcos, stated that after their technical & legal team discovered the “shocking & 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 7 days, they could not help but wonder if the current automated election system is as “squeaky clean” as Comelec and Smartmatic claims it to be.
Rodriguez added they have opted to secure the soft copies of the ballot images since it was the less expensive option than paying once again for the photocopies of the images.
Last week Marcos slammed 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.
In a Resolution dated 10 January 2018, which was received by Marcos’ lawyers on 17 January 2018, the Tribunal said it would keep the original copies of the ballot images despite previously requiring Marcos to pay for the copies and all costs for the decryption.
In the same resolution, the PET said although Marcos was allowed to get the “photocopies or soft copies of the decrypted ballot images”, he should pay once more for the “incidental costs” for securing the same.
Marcos pointed out that the recent resolution is a confirmation of the bias by the case’s ponente, Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, in his handling of Marcos’ election protest.
He said with the newly-discovered evidence, it has now become clear why the Caguioa had tried to deprive Marcos of the documents after they had required him to pay and why he gave his opponent, former Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, advance copies of the documents for free.
“We will show more proof as we go through the rest of the printed ballot images. They bastardized our democracy and the sense of honesty and integrity of the Filipino people. Their depravity is unprecedented,” Marcos said.
Marcos said, “From day one, my position has always been clear. I always said that this election protest is not about me. It is about the integrity of our election system. And although I knew deep down inside that there was something fishy about the “correct” counting of votes, I must admit that I wasn’t prepared for what my technical & legal team reported to me after just 1 week of reviewing the decrypted ballot images.