The Manila Times - Marcos seeks voiding of votes in 3 regions

17 June 2017

The Manila Times 

The camp of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday urged the Supreme Court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to nullify the votes in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.

Lawyer George Erwin Garcia filed yesterday Marcos’ preliminary conference brief that contains the list of witnesses and documents to be presented, admissions and proposals for stipulation as well as proposals for the prompt disposition of the case.

The tribunal gave Marcos and Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo until June 16, 2017 to submit their preliminary conference brief.

Victor Rodriguez, spokesman of Marcos, said the three pilot provinces were chosen because they will clearly show that there were major discrepancies in the votes cast and those transmitted by the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) and reported in the Certificates of Canvass (COCs).

Rodriguez said the under votes in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental is significant because Robredo got 1.4 million votes compared to Marcos’ 198,000 votes.

“If you could recall, that evening of May 9, Marcos was leading by one million votes and suddenly Mrs. Robredo was leading by 260,000 votes. That will explain the under and over votes,” Rodriguez told reporters.

“It will show major discrepancies in the votes cast in the ballots and those transmitted by the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) and reported in the Certificates of Canvass (COCs),” he added.

Rodriguez explained that while Camarines Sur is the hometown of Robredo, it is highly improbable that she would get more than eighty percent of the votes cast when the other vice presidential candidates were either from the Bicol or had ties in the region.

Senator Francis Escudero, who is from Sorsogon, obtained only 36,509 votes while Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, whose wife is from Albay, got 14,601 votes. Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, who traces his roots to Albay, got 11,334 votes while Sen. Gregorio Honasan, whose mother is from Sorsogon, garnered only 7,005 votes.

Rodriguez claimed Marcos got 300,000 under votes in the three provinces, enough to overtake the 260,000 lead of Robredo in the official tally of the Commission of Elections.

Rodriguez said it is also extremely implausible that Robredo obtained 573,729 votes in Iloilo when Marcos’ running mate, the late Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, was from the said province and they were warmly received by the Hiligaynons during their sorties there.

Negros Oriental, on the other hand, was chosen because Robredo’s supposed 248,102 votes is dubious considering the fact that Marcos was supported by the biggest political families in the province.

Rodriguez said they will present 362 witnesses, including officials of the Comelec and technology provider Smartmatic.

The SC will meet in an en banc session on July 11 to decide whether to grant the motion of Marcos to hold a recount in the three provinces.

“It will take 180 days to recount the votes in those three provinces. By that time, we will know if we will go to the next level, which is the recount of votes in the 27 provinces,” Rodriguez said.