“I know there was cheating,” President-elect Rodrigo Duterte told Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during the senator’s courtesy call on Friday in Davao City.
This statement from Duterte about fraud in the May 9 elections was revealed by Marcos in a media forum in Quezon City on Saturday.
The senator said he went to see the incoming President with leaders of the so-called AlDub or Alyansa ni Duterte at Bongbong (Alliance of Duterte and Bongbong), a group that supported and campaigned for the two in last month’s polls.
Duterte emerged as a runaway winner with a margin of more than 6 million votes over second placer and administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd while Marcos lost to Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo by 200,000 votes.
Marcos said Duterte did not expound on his statement as he told the incoming President about his plan to file an electoral protest on June 28 before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
“I explained to him the basis of our protest. He is aware of the cheating,” the senator told reporters as he made his first public appearance since Election Day.
Marcos described alleged cheats in the May 9 polls as walanghiya, bastos at garapal (shameless, rude and flagrant) for denying the people the real results of this year’s elections.
“I assure you [voters]that the true winners will be proclaimed. We will trace your votes and expose the lapses and their [cheats]manipulations of the election system,” said the Ilocano lawmaker who garnered more than 14 million votes.
Marcos conceded that three years is a “long, long time” for one to wait for the outcome of his search for the truth.
His camp said it will file the election protest at the Presidential Election Tribunal on June 28.
But a separate case will first be filed at the Comelec as part of protocol.
Marcos said his lawyers are still studying what appropriate charges will be filed against personnel of the Comelec and Smartmatic, the technology provider to the recent automated elections.
Among the cases being considered are election sabotage, fraud and cheating all under Republic Act 7566.
Although only some personnel of the Comelec and Smartmatic will be named respondents in his protest case, according to the senator, he is sure that the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd was behind the manipulation of the May 9 polls.
“Slowly during the course of hearings, the names of the masterminds will surface as to who authorized [the cheating]. As you know, there is no secret in this country,” Marcos said.
He noted Aquino promising that “no Marcos will be elected to the top positions in the country”, including the vice presidential seat
“Only the [Aquino] administration is capable of cheating in the elections,” Marcos said.
He added that his lawyers have collected several pieces of evidence, including affidavits and videos, to back up their claims of failure of elections, and pre-shading of ballots, aside from undervotes and vote-buying.
His camp is also seeking forensic data audit and systems audit that will prove his allegation of a secret fourth server that was used to siphon off votes and distribute them to favored candidates.
When asked about any position that Duterte is considering for him, Marcos said he is open to any that the incoming President will offer as he is “happy to contribute in whatever capacity.”
For now, he added, “I [plan to]take the seat being kept warm for me.”
He was referring to the vice presidency, which will be occupied by his closest rival, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, who was proclaimed by Congress as the official winner.
Robredo is expected to take her oath of office on June 30.
A law prohibits defeated candidates to assume public office within one year after elections.
Also in the meeting with Duterte, the senator said he thanked the President-elect for promising that he will allow the burial of his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.