SAYING that it may have been a victim of electoral fraud, a party-list group joined Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to immediately conduct an investigation into alleged manipulation of the results of the May 9 national and local elections.
In a letter-request addressed to Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista, the Confederation of Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations, Inc. (Consla) party-list on Thursday cited the discrepancy in the votes it garnered based on the quick count conducted by the Paris Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the poll body.
Consla is one of the 115 party-list groups accredited by the Comelec in the last elections.
The group’s counsel, Rodolfo M. San Diego, said the discrepancy could be an indication of cheating and vote manipulation to favor certain candidates.
“PPCRV twitted its partial canvassing of votes. So did multiple media outlets. How can votes canvassed by PPCRV from the Transparency Server, which essentially are the same votes canvassed by the Comelec, [produce]completely different results? The Comelec needs to investigate this matter to avoid further allegations of irregularities during the May 2016 elections,” San Diego pointed out.
At the same time, Consla filed a letter of complaint to the PPCRV seeking an explanation for the discrepancy of the votes it received.
San Diego pointed out that the group received 555,896 votes as of May 11, 2016 based on its quick count as was shown on its Twitter feed, but the Comelec’s official and final tally showed a different result, with Consla getting only 213,814 votes.
“In the spirit of transparency and in faithful compliance with your avowed duty of protecting the votes of the Filipinos, we request you provide an explanation on how Consla secured 555,896 votes as of May 11, 2016 based on your Twitter feed… and the total number of votes Consla obtained at the time you terminated your quick count operations,” the complaint read.
Consla attached a copy of the screen capture of PPCRV’s Twitter feed provided by an Arnold “Bong” Arriola of the Buhay Party-list group to prove the anomaly.
The photos show Consla getting 342,513 votes from the 68,626 clustered precincts that had already transmitted their results to the transparency server of the Comelec. The group ranked 17th among the contending party-list organizations.
San Diego said Consla’s votes peaked at 555,896 at 12 noon on May 10 as shown in the photos.
“It therefore came as a surprise when the tally of votes by Comelec showed that Consla only garnered a total of 213,814 votes at rank number 54,” he stressed.
San Diego said the group cannot comprehend why there should be a discrepancy, given that the election results that were transmitted to the PPCRV’s transparency server were the same data transmitted to the Comelec.
Consla said the Comelec should not totally dismiss the “fluctuations and inconsistencies” in the partial and unofficial tally of the PPCRV, being its sole accredited quick count partner.
The complete disregard of the discrepancies in the election results, according to the group, would lend credence to other candidates’ claim of massive cheating and vote manipulation.
“To protect the sanctity of the ballot and prop the Filipinos’ sagging belief in the electoral process, it is incumbent upon the Comelec to investigate the inconsistencies and discrepancies in the partial and unofficial results generated by PPCRV,” San Diego added.
The Marcos camp questioned the results in the vice presidential race after officials of the Comelec and its technology provider Smartmatic Inc. admitted there was unauthorized alteration of a script in the transparency server while election results were being transmitted on May 9.
The alteration, which Comelec and Smartmatic officials said was done merely for “cosmetic purposes,” resulted in the modification of the hash code of the Comelec’s packet data.
The Marcos camp said the tampering of the transparency server has cast doubt on the integrity of the May 9 elections.