THE camp of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday said it will not be a hindrance to speedy canvass of votes and immediate proclamation of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the new President.
“Filipinos have spoken. Their choice of Mayor Duterte is clear and unequivocal. Respect for this mandate is of primary importance,” George Garcia, head of Marcos’ legal team, said.
Garcia, however, added that their camp will closely guard the counting of votes for Vice President, the post being contested by Marcos.
“We vow to scrutinize each and every COC [certificate of canvass]for Vice President and highlight the impossibility of the partial unofficial result,” he said in a statement.
The Senate and House of Representatives will on Tuesday convene as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) to count votes in the presidential and vice presidential races.
Garcia said their vigilance is not meant to delay the canvassing but an exercise of a right and their solemn obligation to the millions who supported Marcos and those whose votes were not counted and were disenfranchised.
He added that they also plan to run to the Supreme Court if there are scenarios that will come out during the official canvassing.
“Any legal issue without precedent yet, we will surely elevate to the High Court for guidance and for the protection of our rights,” Garcia said.
He added that they may ask the NBOC to defer the proclamation of the Vice President until all legal issues are resolved.
Marcos’ camp earlier asked the Commission on Elections to conduct an audit because of the introduction of a new computer script on the evening of May 9, 2016 into the Comelec’s transparency server where election watchdogs are getting data for their quick count.
The introduction of the new script, Marcos’ camp said, is suspect because it may have altered results of the polls.
It was later discovered that the change was done by technology provider Smartmatic’s project head Marlon Garcia without asking permission from the Comelec.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said the official canvassing of votes for President and Vice President will put an end to all issues regarding the May 9 elections.
Angara, a member of the Senate’s nine-man panel at the NBOC, said there are processes in place to address concerns that will be raised by candidates during the canvassing.
The other members of the Senate panel are Teofisto Guingona 3rd and Loren Legarda.
The Senate majority leader and the minority leader are automatically part of the panel but since Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano ran for Vice President, he is barred from being part of the NBOC.
Angara said Cayetano will be replaced by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, who is the president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) while Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th will be an alternative member.
But even if the NBOC is yet to officially start counting the votes, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo’s camp asserted that she is the presumptive Vice President because her lead in unofficial counts is unassailable.
Robredo’s lead counsel Romulo Macalintal said in a statement issued on Sunday that the Comelec website “reports that the nationwide certificates of canvass [COC] from all provinces and highly urbanized cities showed that vice-presidential candidate Representative Leni Robredo garnered 14,322,666 votes while Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos was credited with 13,963,767 votes or a difference of 358,899.”
While Marcos won 188,959 votes from Overseas and Local Absentee Voters and Detainee voters against Robredo’s 92,669, deducting his lead of 92,669 votes from Robredo’s 358,899 vote-lead from the nationwide results still gives Robredo “a very comfortable margin of victory” of 262,609 vote lead according to her camp.
“As of this writing, the results from the Municipality of Rizal, Laguna were not yet reported with a total registered voters of only 11,615 votes which will not materially affect said 262,609 vote lead of Robredo,” Macalintal said.
He added that the results reflected in all copies of COC received by Robredo’s legal team tallied with those shown in the Comelec website, with a slight variance in three areas, which failed to transmit three secured date (SD) cards but which the poll body properly accounted for during the senatorial canvass.
“Thus, on the basis of said results, Ms. Robredo is the “presumptive Vice President-elect” in the same manner that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is referred to now as the “presumptive President” on the basis of the results from the same Comelec website although not yet officially canvassed by Congress as the National Board of Canvassers for President and Vice President,” Macalintal said.