Marcos questions high number of ‘undervotes’

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Lawyers for Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. have questioned the unusually high number of “undervotes” in the vice presidential race as shown in Certificates of Canvass (COCs) opened on Wednesday, the first day of the official tally by Congress.

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COUNT GOES ON Lawmakers inspect a ballot box on the second day of the official canvassing of votes for President and Vice President. As of 7 p.m. Thursday, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was leading by 255, 254 votes.  PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

COUNT GOES ON Lawmakers inspect a ballot box on the second day of the official canvassing of votes for President and Vice President. As of 7 p.m. Thursday, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was leading by 255, 254 votes. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

“We have accounted ‘undervotes’ Your Honor, that’s totaling the votes cast for the Vice President vis-à-vis the votes cast by the voters, it would appear that such number was discovered from the COC Your Honor that totals 623,174,” one of the lawyers, George Garcia, said on Thursday.

The discovery confirmed Marcos’ earlier complaint that 3.3 million “undervotes” were discovered in their own quick count, Garcia added.

Because of questions involving the “undervotes,” only 45 of the 48 opened COC were officially included in the canvass.

Garcia said the three questioned COC were from the provinces of Laguna, Ilocos Sur and Davao del Norte.

These were found to have differences with the electronically-transmitted COC.

As part of the investigation, the Joint Canvassing Committee ordered the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) in the three provinces to explain the discrepancies.

Citing as an example, Garcia said the first electronically-transmitted COC from Davao del Norte did not conform with the succeeding printed four COC.

Election watchdogs and Information Technology experts earlier said “undervotes” do not usually exceed one percent of the total votes cast.

In the 2016 elections, there should be not more than 400,000 such votes at 81 percent voter turnout.

Insignificant
The camp of Rep. Leni Robredo of the Liberal Party (LP), howeve, downplayed the reported “undervotes.”

Romulo Macalintal, the lead counsel for Robredo, said the issue is no cause for alarm.

“He is saying that there are around 600,000 ‘under votes.’ But this should not be a cause for alarm because it does not indicate irregularity. Not all people cast their vote for Vice President,” Macalintal added.

He cited the Supreme Court ruling in Mathay vs. Castelo that such abstaining from voting for a particular post is a regular undertaking.

“That’s why I made a clarification that the voters need not worry. This does not mean poll rigging and is insignificant in the canvassing of voters. That happens in an automated or a manual election where people just remain neutral or abstain from voting for a particular position,” Macalintal said.

He expressed confidence that the discrepancies in the three COC can be explained by the PBOC, particularly Laguna where it took the board twice before successfully transmitting the COC.

Marcos earlier appealed to the Commission on Elections to allow his own IT experts to audit the central and transparency servers of the poll body with the participation of other interested parties.

He said only a system audit would show if a script change done by Smartmatic had triggered the sudden decrease of his almost one million lead in the evening of May 9 during the quick count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting.
But the Comelec deferred action on his petition.

Abakada Party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, campaign adviser of Marcos, called the poll body’s decision “unfortunate.”

“We could not understand how the system audit could affect the official canvass because all election returns have been transmitted and all COC have been printed out for canvass,” dela Cruz said.

“The integrity of the whole 2016 elections is on the line here and we do not want unresolved questions and issues to linger after the proclamation. It is our position that whoever will be proclaimed Vice President by the NBOC [National Board of Canvassers] deserves a clear and unequivocal mandate once he assumes the position. We cannot allow all doubts to linger on our new Vice President which would diminish the stature of his office,” he noted in a statement.

“We will take the next legal step to ventilate our request for the sake of truth and for the millions of Filipinos who cast their votes despite the odds and limitations on May 9,” dela Cruz said.

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17 Comments

  1. A Bsutista is cousin of Annoy hr must be prosecuted Somebody must file against him for obstruction n also electoral sabotage he is part of the conspiracy to rig the election thru the order of his cousin. people of the people we must do action for this mess. Even in senator is not convincing Drill on will n delima will win. Without pvid machine these two will not win do we must do something this mess shall investigated.This mess are control oligarchs you can notice it was not mention or publish in other newspapers

  2. make your case, BOBONG marcos, not by asking the comelec to make your case. present your evidence and proof of cheating like your family do in the past and you know this because you were grown up already at the age 28.

    losers die many many times like your father of thieves AND winners die only once.

  3. Aling Dionisia on

    We are not born yesterday not to understand why there are so many under votes! Na delete dito mga boto ni BBM nung ginalaw ng Smartmatic ang system ng Comelec ng walang en banc decision or approval!

  4. rheinielle buenaventura on

    Bautista will make sure that LP wins no matter what. If Robredo wins, will the yellow regime again become victorious? I hope not!!!

  5. Comelec and Smartmatic must be forced to subject the system to an audit. Suspicious results would certainly affect legitimacy. Lack of legitimacy is the bane of any government.

    What happens if Leni Robredo, with such a razor thin margin of win, questionable as it is, for whatever reason, is called upon to assume the presidency?

  6. Chico Ibarra on

    Even the ‘undervote’ may have been rigged to suppress the BBM vote in places where he’s expected to perform well. Only a person close to the administration can orchestrate the alleged anomaly and collude with the vendor.

  7. Mga magagaling na Lawmakers at Comelec Officials, icheck nyi naman ito. para sa Bayan..

  8. Leni Robredo is suddenly a political expert and says that the level of undervotes are “perfectly normal”

    She should check her facts.

    Research states that circa 1 – 2% undervotes might be considered ‘normal’, and in the 2010 election the number of undervotes for VP was around 1%, but 10% is completely abnormal, and totally illogical.

    Leni Robredo should be pushing for the truth, and not so quick to defend the indefensible. Very suspsicious.

    • Leni is so humble and she’s got no hand on the ballots. she doesn’t look like a cheater compared to BOBONG marcos the son of the family of THIEVES cheaters and looters. almost everybody know that this family are cheaters during their regime and BOBONG marcos was 28 y/o that time. they manipulated the election results and i was one of the precinct observers and they came inside the voting place and we were told to change the result ended up in ZERO vote for marcos opponents. dead people even voted. now tell me who is cheating.

      Leni has nothing to do with the canvassing or whatsoever you claim of suspicious. intelligent voters were the ones made Leni the winner with votes came from her regions the SOLID SOUGHT which outnumbered the old MYTH SOLID NORTH.

      your voters are smart now but still there are lots of BOBOTANTES like you maybe..

    • What are you talking about. During the 2010 elections the total votes for Presidents was 36million and for vice president it was 32million or a 4million difference. Did you hear Roxas camp which lost to Binay by just 800thousand votes complain about undervotes?

    • What are you talking about. During the 2010 elections the total votes for Presidents was 36million and for vice president it was 32million or a 4million difference. Did you hear Roxas camp which lost to Binay by just 800thousand votes complain about undervotes? In the final tally of this years election the difference between the total votes of President as compared to vice preside t is just around 1.5million or just 3%

    • Saan po na part sinabi ni Leni Robredo yun?
      I take it your an expert in statistical analysis?
      I might say how quick for BBM to claim fraud. And Why his IT Expert? Not even a tird party? It only suggests a onsided approach not quite looking for the truth. Likewise, Leni have previously welcomed the audit on the elections.

      Let the process proceed. If there will be sufficient evidence to warrant suspicion it will be investigated and the necessary COC disallowed. People have to realize that claiming fraud on this election will make the whole process a fraud and not only for a specific candidate.

  9. artemio gonzales on

    Undervote or fraud ? With computer program it is extremely easy! It takes only 1 line of program command!

  10. Of course Bautista (cousin of Pres Aquino) will not allow those discrepancies in the AES during the transmission of votes late evening of May 9 electio, to be discovered, and Marcos lawyers should not give in to Bautista’s deferring the examination of the system..It only meant one thing they are hiding something and afraid of the consequences of their illegal actions and the lawyers should take another step that if. Bautista refused the AES be opened for inspection then surely they are hiding something .then he should be charged accordingly.