GMA News Online - Bongbong to file complaints over discrepancies in overseas voting

By Rose-An Jessica Dioquino | GMA News Online

GMA-News-OnlineVice Presidential candidate Sen. Bongbong Marcos on Wednesday said he will file complaints over alleged discrepanies found during the ongoing overseas absentee voting (OAV).

In a statement, Marcos said his office has gathered at least 10 complaints from Filipinos registered under OAV, which they will submit to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and technology provider Smartmatic for investigation.

Marcos said he received reports from concerned OFWs in Hong Kong, Japan, Dubai, and California in the US.
In his statement, Marcos said the reports showed "only he and his cousin," senatorial candidate Martin Romualdez "were the only ones losing votes" there.

The vice presidential candidate has been urging the Comelec to explain alleged discrepancies between ballots and printed voters' receipts during the OAV.

He noted a couple of instances when OFWs voted for him, but their receipts showed that they did for Sen. Gregorio Honasan.

“I hope that the Comelec and Smartmatic will give us some kind of explanation and assured us that that the counting will be an honest one, that the votes that will be registered by our overseas workers will be properly counted. Sana maipaliwanag kung ano ang nangyayari dito sa mga lugar na ito,” Marcos said.

He is also calling on the poll body to lay down procedure for when a voter detects a supposed discrepancy.

Comelec has repeatedly said that a voter who has a complaint over the contents of his or her receipt must approach the chairman of the board of election inspectors (BEIs) to have the incident logged in the Minutes.

The receipt of the voter will be attached to the said log, which will be acted upon after the elections.

Last week, the poll body's Office for Overseas Voting released a directive that orders all members of the Special BEIs (SBEIs), the Special Board of Reception and Custody Group (SBRCG), and the Special Board of Canvassers (SBOC) to "record all complaints which are unfounded, baseless, and frivolous."

According to the directive, complaints may either be those formally filed before the SBEIs in the polling places, or even those posted on social networking sites.
Voters are encouraged to have their complaints in writing, which they will swear to before any election officer. Voters will be given a certification afterwards.

The directive, however, also provides: "In case no written complaint has been filed, but the same has come to the attention of the electoral boards concerned, the complaint must be recorded in the Minutes of Voting nonetheless."

It added that the election officers concerned must act upon "all written and unwritten complaints" and submit them to OFOV in Manila within 24 hours.