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Manila Bulletin – Bongbong Marcos files election protest

News & Interviews
29 June 2016

By Rey G. Panaligan | Manila BulletinManila-Bulletin

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. filed on Wednesday with the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), his election protest against proclaimed Vice President Ma. Leonor Robredo who will take her oath of office on Thursday in Quezon City.

In his petition, Marcos asked the PET to set aside Robredo’s proclamation and to declare him the duly-elected vice president.

He challenged the election results in 39,221 clustered precincts in 25 provinces and five cities in the country.

He included in his 1,000-page petition 20,000 pages of affidavits, certificates of canvass (COCs) and other supporting documents to support his claim of fraud in the last May 9 national and local elections.

“The votes presumptively obtained by protestee Robredo during the last elections are products of electoral frauds, anomalies and irregularities. Meanwhile, the votes obtained by protestant Marcos were significantly reduced, manipulated and altered to make it appear that he only placed second during the last elections,” the petition stated.

Marcos’ lawyer George Garcia explained that “through a series of electoral frauds, anomalies and irregularities, people behind the whole operation made sure that Robredo would win and that Marcos’ votes would be reduced.”

After the filing, Marcos, in an interview with journalists covering the SC, said that his petition has three parts.

He said these are the “flawed” Automated Election System [AES]; the more “traditional” modes of cheating like vote buying, pre-shading, intimidation and failure of elections; and the unauthorized introduction by Smartmatic’s Marlon Garcia of a new hash code (or a new script / program) into the Transparency Server as well as the effects brought about by the unauthorized change.

He cited five alleged violations of the Comelec and Smartmatic. These were:

1. “Republic Act No. 9369, the automatic election law, requires, among others, that the AES to be used by Comelec should ‘have demonstrated capability and been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or abroad.’ However, the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) supplied by Smartmatic as a component of the AES was an entirely new model. It was never before used or supplied by Smartmatic for any election, whether in the Philippines or abroad.

2. “Thirteen days before the Election Day, Comelec issued a resolution ordering the board of canvassers not to transmit the COC until all SD cards from the VCMs would have been uploaded or imported into their Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS).

3. “Six days before elections, the Comelec set up seven regional hubs for the re-configuration of SD cards without prior notice to the political parties and candidates, or any announcement thereof to the public. All this time, the national and local candidates thought that the SD Cards were being configured solely at the Configuration Room in the Sta. Rosa facility of Smartmatic/Comelec.

4. “Instead of being replaced by standby CCS, 30 affected CCSs were pulled out of the BOCs’ custody, and were supposedly delivered to the Sta. Rosa facility for reconfiguration, upon the order of Comelec, through Executive Director Jose M. Tolentino.”

5. “Unauthorized introduction of a new program into the Transparency Server and the apparent use of fourth server (called the Queue Server) that was not subject to review by political parties and candidates required by R.A. No. 9369.”

Marcos said “during the election period, the voting public was made to believe that all electoral data were received by the three servers directly from the VCMs and that these were secured by digital signatures and coded encryptions. This was a far cry from what truly happened on election day.

“Data had to pass through the fourth server and it was here where the results were encrypted and de-crypyted. This being the case, the integrity of the data subsequently received by the CCSs, the Central Server and the Transparency Server could no longer be relied upon since the purpose of encryption of the data transmission is precisely to prevent any alteration or change,” he said.

For updates on the electoral protest Bongbong Marcos, click here.