The Philippine Star - Robredo: Marcos lying about Comelec rule on shading threshold

By Audrey Morallo | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is lying when he said that the Commission on Elections did not adopt the 25-percent threshold in the automated counting of ballots during the 2016 elections, Vice President Leni Robredo said.

Robredo said that Comelec records show that the threshold used for 2016 was 25 percent while the 50-percent threshold was used in the 2010 polls.

"He is lying... because records will show. In fact, the Comelec resolution on this was attached to our pleading,” she said when asked to react to Marcos’ comment that the 25-percent threshold was not backed by any resolution.

On Monday, Marcos, the son and namesake of the late dictator, filed an opposition before the Supreme Court, which sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to Robredo's pleading asking the body to reconsider its decision to adopt the 50-percent threshold.

Marcos stressed that there was “no categorical declaration in the Comelec Resolution No. 16-0600 that the 25 percent shading threshold was adopted by the Comelec En Banc in determining the valid votes during the judicial recount and revision of ballots in an election protest.”

Romulo Macalintal, the vice president’s lead election lawyer, said that the counting of ballots shaded at least 25 percent was already confirmed by the body in its en banc resolution dated Sept. 6, 2016 which adopted the recommendation of Commissioner Luie Guia.

Marcos supporters on social media have pointed out that the resolution was issued months after the May 2016 polls.

Macalintal warned that adopting the 50-percent threshold would result in the disenfranchisement of both Robredo’s and Marcos’ supporters, a view also shared by the vice president.

“The two of us should be the ones complaining because we will both be affected. Some of the votes of our supporters will not be considered because of technicality. It’s surprising that he did not want to know the real sentiments of the people,” Robredo said in Filipino.

She stressed that what was important was to know the choice of the Filipino voters, who should not be disenfranchised because of Marcos’ desire to return to power.

“You cannot twist legalities, you cannot twist facts just to get what you want,” Robredo said.

Marcos is alleging that vote-counting machines used during the 2016 elections were rigged to favor Robredo, who was the official candidate of the then ruling Liberal Party.

The vice president, who is the current chairperson of the party, has denied all allegations of irregularity.

Marcos needs to substantially recover votes in the three pilot provinces he chose for the manual recount for the PET to proceed to the rest of the areas where he alleged cheating happened. Without this substantial recovery, his protest will be junked.

When asked if she is confident of her victory, Robredo said, “Very confident, very confident because there was no cheating that happened.”