Robredo to Marcos: Prove poll fraud or withdraw protest
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday dared former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to withdraw his election protest should he fail to prove “massive election fraud” from the encrypted data from 13 secure digital (SD) memory cards under investigation by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Romulo Macalintal, the Vice President’s lead lawyer, issued the challenge on the heels of claims made by Marcos’ lawyer Victor Rodriguez that the fact there was data in the supposedly untouched SD cards was proof of election fraud.
If such claims are not proven, “then Marcos should withdraw his election protest against our client, Vice President Leni Robredo, and his lawyer who made such irresponsible statement should surrender to the Supreme Court his license to practice law,” Macalintal said in a statement.
The prominent election lawyer said he was willing to surrender his own license to practice law and withdraw from representing the Vice President if the Comelec did end up proving the existence of fraud in Robredo’s narrow victory over Marcos in May last year.
The former Camarines Sur congresswoman and widow of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo won by a margin of more than 260,000 votes against Marcos, the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
On Monday, Rodriguez said Marcos’ electoral protest had been bolstered by the discovery of data in unused SD cards and vote counting machines (VCMs) in the general elections.
“This strengthens our position that massive fraud was indeed committed in the last elections because SD cards from unused VCMs should be empty,” he said.
But Macalintal said such a claim was “highly ridiculous, if not outright frivolous” as neither the Supreme Court justices nor the Comelec officials were aware of what the data represented as they were still in encrypted or unreadable form.
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