The camp of former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. today asserted that the data found in many of the SD cards that were retrieved from supposedly unused Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) strengthened their election protest.
In an interview during a break in the decryption of 26 SD cards found to have data at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) office in Intramuros, Manila today, lawyer Victor Rodriguez, spokesperson of Marcos, said the fact that data were found in supposed to be untouched SD cards is proof that fraud had been committed in the May elections.
“This strengthens our position that massive fraud was indeed committed in the last elections because SD cards from unused VCM should be empty. However, we have confirmed today that indeed they have data in them so that bolsters our position,” Rodriguez said.
The COMELEC conducted the decryption of 26 of the 127 SD cards found to data during the stripping of 1,356 unused VCMs last October 2016.
The other 101 SD cards were not part of the decryption as they were set aside by the Senate Electoral Tribunal on motion by former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino on his election protest before the Tribunal.
During the decryption, 13 of the 26 SD cards were found to have folders containing data in them. Decryption was still being conducted as of press time.
Rodriguez also said the data in the SD Cards also supported their contention that the VCMs should not have been opened or stripped until after the conclusion of Marcos' election protest at the Presidential Electoral Protest (PET).
“How can more than 120 SD cards have data in them when they came from VCMs kits that were not used? This is highly questionable. This also supports our contention that the VCMs should be preserved until the election protest is concluded in the PET because they represent an important aspect in the protest,” he said.
Marcos' lawyers had earlier opposed the stripping of the unused VCMs as it was conducted in violation of the Protective Precautionary Order issued by the PET to preserve the integrity of the ballot boxes and other equipment used in the last elections.
Despite the objections of the camp of BBM, the COMELEC still proceeded with the stripping and turnover of the VCMs on 26 October 2016.
Rodriguez further stated that despite the many hurdles being thrown their way, they will continue to fight for truth and the integrity of the elections. “Of course we will fight this until the very end because the integrity of the country’s election system is at stake here and we would not stop until we shall have exposed all the fraud and machinations they carried out and continuously carry out until the present,” he said.