Calls on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate massive cheating during the elections grew after a municipal officer in Quezon province on Sunday bared that he helped set up a command center in Lucena City where votes from all the precincts in his province were diverted and changed in favor of candidates of the administration party.
The witness, who identified himself as Ka Bert, was presented to members of the media by civil society leader Boy Saycon.
Ka Bert, a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, said one month before the elections, he was asked by their mayor, who is a member of the Liberal Party, to look for a warehouse that they can use as a command center for the elections.
“Noong una akala ko parang monitoring center lang o war room kaya wala akong inisip na kakaiba sa utos [At first I thought it was just for a command center or war room so I did not find the order strange],” he added.
Ka Bert said the first warehouse he recommended was rejected by the mayor and people from technology provider Smartmatic because it was far from voting centers.
“Kailangan daw nila yung malapit sa mga voting centers kaya doon ko sila hinanapan sa malapit sa City Hall [They said they need a place near voting centers so I looked for a place near City Hall].”
At first, only computer sets and other office equipment were delivered.
But one week before the elections, Ka Bert said, at least nine Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) were brought to the warehouse.
“Doon ako nagtaka kasi bakit meron din kami noon [That was when I started to wonder),” he added. When he asked his superior about the VCMs, he was told that he should not ask questions because the order was from the top.
“Galing daw sa taas ang utos na dalhin doon ang VCMs [The order to bring VCMs came from the top].”
He said nine Information Technology (IT) experts manned and conducted tests on each of the VCMs.
Five of them were from Smartmatic while four were from Quezon province.
On Election Day, Ka Bert said, all the VCMs were turned on.
After the close of voting precincts, he added that he was surprised when the VCMs started to get transmissions from the precincts.
“Tinanong ko yung mga IT [experts]bakit may transmission kami kasi alam ko naman na dapat from the voting precincts dapat sa Comelec or transparency server napupunta ang boto. Ang sagot sa akin ay sila daw ang magta-transmit ng boto [I asked the IT people why we had that transmission because what I know is that from the voting precincts, votes should be transmitted to the Comelec or the transparency server. They told me that they will be transmitting votes],” the witness said.
Ka Bert said he personally saw how votes transmitted from the voting precincts were changed before they were transmitted to the transparency server.
“Pinapalitan nila ang mga boto, nililipat dun sa ibang kandidato [They changed the votes and transferred them to other candidates],” he noted.
Ka Bert said even the votes of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte were shaved and transferred to former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd.
The votes of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe were also reduced for Roxas.
But the biggest reduction he said, affected Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos because some 500,000 of his votes were given to Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.
“Kay Presidente Duterte mga 300,000 votes, kay VP Binay mga 200,000 at kay Grace Poe din. Pero kay Senator Marcos mga 500,000 ang binawas sa kanya at binigay kay Robredo,” Ka Bert added.
In the Certificate of Canvass for Quezon province, Robredo won with 385,164 votes over Marcos’ 173,394 votes.
He said a staff of Roxas gave money to the IT guys for the operation.
“Kilala ko sya na tao ni Secretary Mar dahil everytime na pupunta sya sa probinsya namin, sya ang advance party na nag-aarrange ng mga lakad ni secretary. At palagi sya ang kasama,” Ka Bert added.
He said he decided to come out because he could not stomach how the whole election system was “bastardized” in his area.
The witness added that even the votes of 50,000 registered voters who earlier committed to vote for Marcos in Quezon were also shaved.
“Alam ko po na ibinoto nila si Senator Marcos dahil mga loyalista sila kaya hindi pwedeng 25,000 lamang ang nakuha ni Senator Marcos sa kanila,” he pointed out.
The witness said he is willing to come out and testify and can present four of the IT guys who manned the VCMs in the Lucena warehouse.
“Willing sila na mag-testify dito kasi alam ko marami silang dokumento na makakapagpatunay na totoong nangyari ang pag-transmit namin ng boto,” he added.
Saycon cited the need to investigate reported election anomalies.
“[There was]wholesale pre-shading, [there was]massive vote-buying, SD card manipulation, [there was]hashcode change and then [now]transmission diversion. It’s s multi-level operation [that’s why] we all got surprised with the result with Roxas [suddenly became No. 2 and then [Senate President Franklin]Drilon [suddenly became No. 1 senator. [It was good that Duterte’s votes were overwhelming [and they cannot cheat him]but his votes were also shaved and so he should step into this because stealing votes is much worse than stealing from the coffers,” he said.