By Hector Lawas | Journal Online
FORMER Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. yesterday asked the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to furnish his office with the results of the decryption of the “unused” SD cards found to have data during the stripping process of Vote Counting Machines (VCM).
Marcos, through his lawyer George Erwin Garcia, stressed that many of the SD cards were found to have data during the stripping activities for 1,356 units of VCMs bolstering their position that mere physical examination is not enough to prove that they were not used in the last elections.
“With all due respect, the presence of data stored in the SD cards, which were retrieved from the 1,356 units of contingency VCMs, bolsters the position of protestant Marcos that the mere physical examination of the subject VCMs, boxes, seals, stickers and SD cards is indeed inadequate to prove that the same were not used in the 9 May 2016 Elections,” Garcia said.
The Comelec conducted the stripping activities after it decided to release 1,356 VCMs to Smartmatic claiming they were not covered by the Precautionary Protection Order since they were not used and/or not deployed in the May elections.
However, it was later discovered that many of the SD cards in the supposedly “unused” VCMs were found to contain data during the stripping activities conducted by the poll body and Smartmatic.
Because of this, Garcia asked for a copy of the results of decryption of the SD cards found to contain data.
“It is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Tribunal to direct the Comelec to furnish the protestant and the other interested parties in this case with …… the results of the decryption of the SD cards from (1,356) units of contingency VCMS, which were found to contain data during the said closure/stripping activities...,” Garcia stated.
Garcia informed the SC that they did not take part in the stripping activities conducted on 26 October 2016 and 02 November 2016 because it is their position that the Comelec should have first secured authority from the PET before carrying out the stripping activities.