Marcos camp: Smartmatic must explain ’discrepancies’ in COCs
Aside from an “unusually” high number of undervotes, Smartmatic should explain to the public the discrepancies found in the electronically-transmitted Certificates of Canvass (COCs) in several provinces, the camp of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. has said.
Marcos’ lead counsel, George Garcia, pointed out, for example, that in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Ilocos Sur, the provincial Canvassing and Consolidation System (CCS) transmitted the COCs when there was incomplete transmission of results at the municipal level.
“How can the provincial CCS transmit (the COC) to the Comelec (Commission on Elections) when the program says it should be 100 percent transmission of all municipalities in that province?” Garcia said in an interview Thursday night.
He said the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) in the two provinces were unaware that the municipal transmissions were incomplete until the Comelec (Commission on Elections) en banc ordered them to recheck and recompute the results.
They later found out that election results in one municipality were not included in the first provincial COC transmitted to the Comelec, Garcia said.
“How can this happen when Smartmatic assured us that their machines are accurate and reliable?” the lawyer asked.
“It’s their obligation to the Filipino people. They were the ones who supplied to us the machines, they were the ones who supplied to us the system, they were the ones who assured that it will be 99.9996 percent accurate, then an explanation is a must,” he added.
Unless clarified and addressed properly, Garcia said such an issue would likely raise questions on the results of the elections.
“What if there was double transmission or no transmission at all yet the results reflect there was one?” he further asked.
READ: 2nd day of canvass: Bongbong leads Leni
Because of the discrepancies and the unusually high percentage of undervotes uncovered during the official canvass for the position of president and vice president, Garcia said, losing candidates in other positions are probably now re-checking the results in their own area to find out what really happened.
He said the public also has the right to know why there was such a high number of undervotes for the position of vice president, which he said totaled about 3.2 million in the first two days of the official canvass.
Garcia said they arrived at the figure by deducting the total number of votes for the position of vice president from the total number of votes cast.
“It’s true that some voters opted not to vote for a certain position and that’s normal. But take note of the percentage, that’s 3.2 million voters who did not vote for vice president,” he pointed out.
READ: Robredo, Marcos counsels clash on undervotes
With a hotly-contested election and a high voter turnout of over 80 percent, Garcia said the high number of undervotes should be explained. He said areas where large number of undervotes occurred were in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Marcos’ camp has a pending request in the Comelec for a systems audit of its central and transparency server after a Smartmatic personnel made an alleged unauthorized change of a script in the system on the night of the May 9 elections.
It was shortly after this action that Marcos claimed he began to lose his lead and was eventually overtaken by his closest rival, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, in the unofficial partial results of the elections posted by a poll watchdog.
Marcos insisted that only such an audit would clear doubts on the results of the elections.
Comelec has decided to defer action on Marcos’ request until after the official canvassing of votes by Congress. CDG/rga