By Hector Lawas | Journal Online
THE Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) yesterday ordered local officials in Camarines Sur to explain alleged anomalies in ballots found during the ongoing recount of votes in the vice presidential race.
In a nine-page notice of resolution promulgated, the PET has required several officials of Tinambac and Tigaon towns, and as well as in Iriga City to explain the prevalence of various irregularities.
For Tinambac town, PET directed the municipal treasurer to explain “plastic seals found inside the ballot box already wet, election return envelope not inside ballot box and cannot be found, envelopes for minutes of voting and torn ballots appear to have been previously opened, missing voter’s receipt box, and voter’s receipts found scattered inside ballot box.”
For Tigaon town, the municipal treasurer was also ordered by the PET to explain the questionable signature of chair of board of election inspectors that “cannot be compared to any similar specimen in the other documents” and why several zip ties were not attached to the ballot box and already cut.
Lastly, the PET directed the revision committee in Bgy. San Francisco in Iriga City to explain the questionable use of two MOV forms with substantial discrepancies and the different signatures of BEI chair in the election documents.
It also required justification from revision committee from Bgy. La Purisima in the same city on the discovery of two MOVs signed by different BEI chairs.
PET gave them 10 days from receipt of notice to comply with the directive.
It was the second time the PET has acted and looked into irregularities found in the ongoing recount.
Last April, the Tribunal has required the local officials in Bato, Sagñay, Garchitorena and Ocampo towns to explain why the ballots in their precincts were wet or damaged.
It explained that since the wet and damaged ballots were unreadable, revisors had to refer to the decrypted ballot images in counting those votes but will do so after the revision of all the ballot boxes from the province.
The Tribunal also acknowledged that some ballot boxes were re-reopened after they were sealed, citing for instance a ballot box found re-sealed without returning the broken security seal.
Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. filed the protest on June 29, 2016, claiming that the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo cheated in the automated polls in the May 2016 national polls.