Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has asked the Supreme Court to protect the secure digital cards and compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to release the results of the decryption of the SD cards from 1,356 vote counting machines (VCMs) to prevent these from being tampered with.
In a four-page Manifestation of Grave Concern with Motion, Marcos asked the SC, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to direct the Comelec to submit to his camp copies of the minutes of the proceedings and/or transcript of stenographic notes taken during the stripping activities on October 26, 2016 and November 2, 2016.
Marcos filed an election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo several weeks after the May 2016 elections, claiming there was rigging.
In his petition, Marcos, through his lawyer George Erwin Garcia, said he should be provided “results of the decryption of the SD cards from the 1,356 units of contingency VCMs, which were found to contain data during the said closure/stripping activities.”
Marcos has opposed the Comelec decision to release unused vote counting machines to Smartmatic in view of the alleged election fraud.
The Comelec granted Smartmatic’s request that 1,356 units of vote counting machines should be released since these are not covered by the Precautionary Protection Order issued by the high tribunal.
The Marcos camp was invited to witness the stripping of the counting machines but the former senator did not send a representative.
The PET has ordered the preservation of the “automated election equipment and records such as Vote Counting Machines (VCM) , Consolidation and Canvass System (CCs) units, Secure Digital (SD) cards (main and back up) , and other data storage devices in all of the 92,509 clustered precincts used in the May 2016 elections.”
Marcos, who lost to Robredo by only 263,473 votes, claimed that massive “electoral fraud, anomalies and irregularities” such as preshading of ballots, pre-loaded Secure Digital cards, misreading of ballots, malfunctioning VCMs, and an “abnormally high” unaccounted votes/undervotes for the position of VP.
SC Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, classmate of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd, is the ponente of the case.