Vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is now leading main rival Camarines Sur congresswoman Leni Robredo by 995,207 votes, according to official Certificates of Canvass (COC) gathered so far by the senator’s legal team.
Administration bet Robredo, however, said she is “sure” that she will emerge as the winner in the race for Vice President.
As of Saturday (May 14, 2016), 3:30 pm, Marcos had a total of 12,479,207 votes, compared with Robredo’s 11,484,092.
The figures are based on 102 out of 122 COCs, or 87.7 percent.
Controversy struck the May 9 polls after the camp of Marcos exposed the allegedly mysterious introduction of a new computer program script that changed the hash code in the transparency server of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), suspecting that election results were tampered with.
Fears that the vote had been manipulated were raised after Robredo of the Liberal Party suddenly overtook the almost 1 million vote lead of the Ilocano senator in the count conducted by the election watchdog PPCRV
in less than five hours during which the nation of more than 100 million were mostly asleep.
The last lead of Marcos of 5,539 votes was posted at 2:59 a.m. of May 9. Marcos had 12,823,523 votes while the lawmaker from Bicol had 12,817,985.
A minute later, at 3 a.m., Robredo took the lead, with 14,876 more votes than those for Marcos.
Her numbers climbed further to 12,938,123, against Marcos’ 12,923,247.
These figures were based on the Comelec’s transparency server count monitored by the election watchdog and Catholic Church-based Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).
Since that time, Marcos never regained the lead based on the PPCRV quick count and Robredo began maintaining a 200,000-vote lead.
The Marcos camp on Sunday reminded the public that only completed COC will be the basis for the national canvassing of the votes for President and Vice President by the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) to be convened by Congress.
The quick count of the PPCRV, it pointed out, is not the basis for proclaiming winners of the May 9 polls.
Also on Sunday, Marcos attended a Holy Mass at the Baclaran Church in Paranaque City (Metro Manila) together with his mother and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, wife Liza, and eldest son Sandro.
Reporters failed to interview him because the senator was mobbed by churchgoers who all tried to reach out to him.
Marcos said his camp does not believe anymore results being posted by PPCRV and that they will just wait for May 25 wherein the NBOC will start canvassing the votes from the presidential and vice presidential races in a joint session of Congress.
But Robredo was upbeat about making it as the next Vice President of the Philippines.
“Sigurado na po base sa numero ng Comelec pero siyempre hindi pa tayo pwede mag-claim kasi ang pwede lang mag-claim ‘yung Comelec. ‘Yung pinaka-purpose lang ng pagpakita namin ng numero, marami kasing nangangamba dahil napakalapit nung laban, marami sa aming supporters ung nangangamba [We are already sure based on the numbers from the Comelec but of course we cannot claim (victory yet) because the only one who can claim (it for us) is the Comelec. The purpose of the update was to appease our our supporters because a lot of them were anxious due to the tight race],” she told reporters in an interview when asked if she is sure of victory.
Robredo said they wanted to appease their supporters as early as Tuesday but they did not want to use projections until they were absolutely sure of the numbers.
“Kagabi late at night naging sigurado na kami, ‘ung kulang na lang as of last night was 15 towns. Sigurado na kaming irreversible na siya. Ngayon, as of 2 p.m. ngayon nine towns na lang ‘yung kulang. ‘Yung worst case scenario na zero ako doon lahat ng towns na imposible din naman, panalo pa din [Yesterday late at night we became sure, there were only 15 towns left. We are sure that it is irreversible. Now, as of 2 p.m. now there are only nine towns left. In the worst-case scenario that I get zero votes in all those towns, which is also impossible, it’s still a win],” she added.
Robredo was referring to nine municipalities that are yet to send Certificates of Canvass (COC), namely: Rizal in Laguna; Allen, Catarman and Lope de Vega in Northern Samar; Binidayan, Masiu and Tamparan in Lanao del Sur; Indanan in Sulu; and Bacungan in Zamboanga del Norte, which equate to 168,988 registered voters.
A total of 233,226 votes (168,988 plus 64,238 registered detainee voters) have not yet been counted, according to Robredo’s camp.
Her lead as of Sunday afternoon was 257,567 votes, according to the Comelec count.
“Kahit ibigay pa natin ang lahat ng natititirang boto kay Sen. Marcos, batay sa datos ng official Comelec mismo ang naglalathala, kabilang na ang OAV [Overseas Absentee Voters] at LAV [Local Absentee Voters], lamang pa rin si Congresswoman Leni Robredo ng 24,341 [Even if we give to Sen. Marcos all the votes left, based on Comelec data, including OAV and LAV, Congresswoman Leni Robredo would atill lead by 24,341],” Boyet Dy, Robredo’s head for policy, said during a short program.
He added that Robredo leads in the five provinces where the 9 municipalities are located.
“Kaya malinaw na po, hindi na kakayaning habulin pa ni Sen. Marcos ang lamang ni Congresswoman Robredo. At hinding hindi po nagsisinungaling ang mga numero [So it is clear that Sen. Marcos can no longer catch up with Congresswoman Robredo’s lead. And numbers don’t lie],” Dy said.
Robredo, her daughters as well as her supporters, attended a thanksgiving Mass for peaceful and honest elections in the Church of the Gesù before her camp gave an update on the vice presidential race during the short program at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.