Claims of irregularities on wet ballots found by Marcos camp disputed
The lawyer of Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday disputed what the camp of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos claimed were irregularities in several ballot boxes as the recount of votes in the 2016 vice presidential elections continued.
Atty. Romulo Macalintal said the Marcos camp also has not presented any evidence to prove the massive irregularities they said they had found.
In an interview at the start of the recount on Monday, Marcos told reporters that all the ballots in four precincts in Bato, Camarines Sur, were soaked in water when they were opened.
Camarines Sur is one of three provinces covered by the recount. The other two are Iloilo and Negros Oriental.
Marcos said it was impossible for the ballots to have been wet for the last two years. He added that out of 42 precincts in Bato, 38 have missing audit logs.
He said the audit log would show the time when the precinct opened, the time the vote was cast, and the time the precinct closed. It would also show if there was batch voting and if someone voted beyond the voting hours, he added.
On Wednesday, Marcos’ spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez also quoted sources claiming that there were ballots pre-shaded for Robredo.
But Macalintal maintained that wet ballots, unused ballots, and missing audit logs are not evidence of irregularity in an election.
“The evidence of irregularity in an election is that there would be a radical difference between the physical count of the ballots and results of the ballots as reflected on the returns and the number of votes as they were proclaimed,” he said.
The recount started on April 2 and may take months before it is completed.
According to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, the results of the recount for the three provinces will determine whether there is cause to reopen and manually recount the remaining 31,047 precincts in Marcos’ protest.
Robredo garnered 14,418,817 votes in the vice presidential race, or 263,473 more than Marcos who got 14,155,344 votes. /jpv/au
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