THE camp of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo has run out of a “credible and acceptable” explanation following the discovery of tampered election machines, a lawyer for former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Thursday.
Lawyer Vic Rodriguez blasted Robredo and her legal team, led by Romulo Macalintal, for pretending to be “blind” amid “evidence” emerging that Marcos was cheated in the vice-presidential race.
Macalintal on Thursday dared the Marcos camp to withdraw their protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal if they fail to prove “massive fraud” in the May 2016 elections based on data found in unused secure digital (SD) cards from vote-counting machines (VCMs) last Monday.
He also challenged Rodriguez to surrender his license to practice law if he could not prove that the vice-presidential race was rigged. Robredo beat Marcos by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 polls.
Rodriguez said the Robredo camp was in “panic mode” and Macalintal’s statement was expected “since they have run out of a credible and acceptable explanation that the Filipino people deserve.”
“The core issue that Senator Marcos raised in his election protest is the constitutionality and integrity of the automated election system used in the last election. The discovered data in the supposedly ‘unused and un-deployed’ VCMs and SD cards strengthens further our position that there was enormous cheating done through tampering of the AES (automated election system) which we will prove before the PET,” Rodriguez told The Manila Times.
Macalintal, in a statement, said the SD cards were not even part of the electoral protest, “hence, [they]cannot be admitted as evidence.”
“But nevertheless we agreed to have them examined for purposes of transparency and to prove that Robredo is not hiding anything nor is she afraid to face Marcos in his baseless and frivolous protest,” Macalintal said.
Macalintal said he was willing to withdraw his license to practice law if Robredo lost the case.
He proposed the suspension of the verification and examination of 13 SD cards found to have data until the filing of a joint manifestation before the Commission on Elections.
“It is highly ridiculous, if not outright frivolous, for Marcos and his camp to express excitement over the alleged ‘data contained in the 13 SD cards,’ as if they had already won the election because no one knows, not even the Supreme Court justices nor the Comelec officials, what said ‘data’ are all about because they are still in their ‘encrypted’ or unreadable form,” Macalintal said.
Rodriguez, however countered: “It’s very simple, if the SD cards were not used, they should be empty. But how come they had data with a different system? Any Grade 1 pupil can understand that.”
with MICHAEL JOE T. DELIZO