By Mocha Uson | The Philippine Star
If these ballots had been wet since the election two years ago, these should have dried up by now. But these means the ballots were dampened only when they were transferred here.” – Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
It has only been just a week, but if we listen to the camp of former Senator Bongbong Marcos, it seems like a lot of conspicuous activities are starting to unfold in connection with the Vice Presidential electoral recount.
Day 1: Wet ballots and missing audit logs
During the first day of recount, ballots from four clustered precincts in Bato, Camarines Sur were found to be wet. The audit logs from these ballots were also missing from their respective boxes. Sure, the missing audit logs may be blamed on the differing rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) and Comelec, but the wet ballots should be a concern for everyone. Preserving the ballots is essential not just for the sake of this current electoral protest, but for future protests as well. If the safety of the ballots cannot be assured, may it be due to a typhoon as Leni Robredo’s camp claims or by blatant tampering as Bongbong’s team says, then the accuracy of results of election protests will always be questionable.
Some say that there are soft copies that can be used to present the results of these damaged ballots, but regardless, should not brush off the importance of the original ballots which were being safeguarded for a reason.
Day 2: Four PET head revisers resign, plus more wet ballots
The second day of the VP recount was not saved from drama, as four head revisers, each tasked to lead a three-person committee in recounting the contested ballots, resigned. Even until now, there has been no explanation made by these revisers in connection with their resignation.
Their resignation means lesser workforce, and possible delays in completing the recount. Let us be minded that the recount is being done in a way to serve justice to the rightful VP, and this situation only says one thing: justice delayed. Should it be said that justice is being denied as well?
And yes, more wet ballot boxes came in from the Bato!
Day 3: Unused and excess ballots pre-shaded in favor of Leni Robredo
While some may argue about the importance of this issue as unused ballots were not even counted in the first place, but these ballots were allegedly found among the valid ballots with Robredo votes. In my opinion, it’s not about whether these ballots were counted or not. If the pre-shaded ballot was found as Marcos claims, the question is: why were there shaded ballots in favor of Leni Robredo in the first place?
Leni’s camp of course downplayed it by saying that these ballots may have just been rejected ones and mistakenly placed inside the envelope for unused ballots. They also questioned the leakage of the information, but the point here is, aren’t we here for the reason of finding the truth about who really won last election and if there was indeed cheating that happened or not? Regardless of the information leakage, I believe that the public deserves to know the truth.
One week after: More wet ballot boxes with cut grasses inside were found in Naga City.
As usual, Leni’s camp may downplay this new discovery. They may claim that Bongbong’s camp is only trying to taint the results of the recount. But it also cannot be denied that the questionable ballots and evidences of a possible tampering are slowly emerging. So yes, we ask:
Which camp is really trying to taint the result of the recount?
If Leni’s camp is truly confident that they won the 2016 elections as they always present, then they may want to join him in questioning the anomalies being discovered in the PET recount, and not merely deflecting the allegations being made by Bongbong’s camp. If they are truly interested in knowing the truth, not just in winning, then they must also question why the ballot boxes were wet, given the fact that these were meant to be weather-proof.
In my opinion, their insistence on just downplaying the Bongbong’s allegations only show that they are not at all interested in the truth, but only in winning the VP recount and staying in power.
The resolution of this electoral protest is not yet in sight. However, I can only hope that the truth will prevail in search of who really won last election – who really is our nation’s rightful Vice President.