Malacañang and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday rejected the proposal of civil groups to manually recount votes cast during the May 13 elections because of allegations that the results were pre-programmed.
The Comelec challenged Tanggulang Demokrasya (Tandem) to show proof of poll manipulation, while Palace officials said a manual recount is not needed to check the accuracy of the automated results.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Tandem needs to present evidence to back its allegations before the commission can take action. He added that the poll body will hold a manual count if Tandem shoulders the expenses.
“They should tell us if they know of somebody who did the pre-programming,” Brillantes said.
“That’s okay as long as they pay, they should make a deposit. In 2010, Mar Roxas filed a protest and it cost him P153 million. Perhaps a bigger amount is needed here, about P200 million. They show us the money, we will open all the ballot boxes,” he said
On Tuesday, Tandem called on the Comelec to manually count ballots in 78,000 precincts, saying a “template” appeared to have been used across the country, making the results of the May 13 elections “good as trash.”
Adolfo Paglinawan, a political activist and Convenor of the Solidarity for Sovereignty, said the 12 senators who have already been proclaimed by the Comelec were “digitally-elected.”
He maintained that massive poll discrepancies included the pre-programming of the election results. He said a 60-30-10 pattern—60 percent of votes for administration candidates, 30 percent for the opposition, and 10 percent to independent candidates—was observed nationwide.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said a manual recount is no longer needed as he insisted that there was a “synchronized national and local elections”.
“Isn’t that proof enough that the elections was credible?” Lacierda said. “ We would have preferred that we sweep the entire slate, but we did not.”
“We already have stated our position there. We did not win the entire slate; we did not win in the local elections, how much more proof do you want as to the legitimacy of these elections?” he added.
“People would like to question the election, let them do that. But it’s very clear that the people have spoken and you’ve not seen any strong protests from the people,” Lacierda said
“The people have accepted the votes. The people have accepted the 12 as legitimately elected by them. So the people have spoken and that’s it,” he said.
Lacierda however said the Comelec should proceed with a Random Manual Audit (RMA) because the law requires it.
Brillantes earlier said an RMA is sufficient to validate the accuracy of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
Under Republic Act 9369, a manual audit must be conducted in one polling precinct per congressional district randomly chosen by the Comelec.