Marcos speech bares weakness of fraud claim–Robredo lawyer
The privilege speech of outgoing Senator Bongbong Marcos Jr. has exposed the weakness of the vice presidential candidate in his claim of an electoral fraud against the camp of his closest rival, Leni Robredo, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said on Tuesday.
Macalintal, Robredo’s lawyer, hit Marcos for resorting to a “fishing expedition” to prove his claim that there were discrepancies in the unofficial vote count for vice president, which Robredo is currently leading.
“Upon interpellation by Senator Bam Aquino, Marcos admitted he has no evidence of massive cheating in the transparency server. He is not sure whether the cosmetic change in the server affected only the (votes for vice presidential candidates) that’s why he wanted the said system audit,” Macalintal said in a statement to the media.
Marcos on Monday delivered a privilege speech at the Senate questioning the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic for allowing the tweaking of the hash code in the script of the transparency server used for the automated election system.
Despite the Comelec and Smartmatic’s assurance that the change in the script did not affect the tally of votes, Marcos is demanding a systems audit to find out the extent of the effect of the change in the server.
“More so with Marcos’ admission that he is not sure if the hashcode change affected only the VP or all candidates— in a word, all Marcos was saying are within the realm of an election protest which he could only institute upon Ms. Robredo’s proclamation,” Macalintal said.
“This alone shows the fishing expedition type of Marcos method of proving his claimed irregularity in the vice presidential race. Marcos admitted that his evidence consists merely of vote buying or voters who were not allowed to vote due to terrorism in some areas,” he said.
But the issue of vote buying, the lawyer stressed, is not for the Congress as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) to look into.
He said the NBOC’s function was merely ministerial, focusing on the certificates of canvass (COCs) received from provincial board of canvassers.
As Marcos called for a separate proclamation of the winning presidential and vice presidential candidates, Macalintal said it would be “legally impossible” for this to happen.
“The COCs of president and VP came from the same ballots, same election returns, and same Comelec officials who prepared and electronically transmitted said documents, hence the effect or application of their results cannot be made separate,” he said. CDG/rga
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