THE camp of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday welcomed the revelation during a meeting of the congressional oversight body on the automated polls earlier this week of alleged discrepancies between the main secure digital (SD) cards and the backup cards used in the 2016 national and local elections.
Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, legal counsel of Marcos, said the reported discrepancies in SD cards would help substantiate their discovery of the mysterious squares that appeared on the printed copy of ballot images from the soft copies provided by the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
Marcos earlier this week showed photocopies of what he described as “shocking” and “highly questionable” ballot images from Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental, two of the three pilot provinces in his vice-presidential election protest pending before the PET.
In some of the ballot images, even though two or more candidates were shaded in the vice-presidential position, the votes still went to former Camarines Sur representative Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, instead of being considered “overvotes,” the former senator said.
“We discovered in some ballots that if the votes were for me, they were not counted and were considered undervotes. So that’s why the undervotes for the vice presidency were high, more than 3 million. But my opponent got the votes even if these were not supposed to be counted in her favor,” Marcos explained.
During the organizational meeting of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System, Escudero revealed to officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) the supposed discrepancies between the main SD cards and the backup SD cards used in the 2016 polls.
“I have records to show that the backup is not a mirror image of the main SD cards, a lot of them,” Escudero told the poll officials.
Escudero made revelation after the Comelec failed to provide the committee data that would show how many of the backup SD cards were used during the previous elections.
According to the senator, a backup card was supposed to be used whenever the main SD card encountered a problem.
The Comelec officials explained that they did not have the records because the vote-counting machines only recorded IP or Internet Protocol addresses and did not know whether the main or the backup SD card was used.
An IP address is a unique number that can identify computer network hardware.
Escudero then asked the Comelec to present before the committee, in the next hearing, records of areas where the backup SD cards were used.
The senator particularly asked the Comelec the records from Region 5 or the Bicol region, which he wants to compare with his own copies.
Acting Comelec Chairman Christian Robert Lim said the poll body would comply but would need to get the consent of the PET.
Rodriguez claimed it was becoming clearer the 2016 vice-presidential race was rigged.
“Slowly both object and testimonial evidence are coming out proving that the results of the 2016 elections for vice president were rigged and the cheating was so systematic that the perpetrators were able to program it to be Marcos-specific, targeting only the votes for Senator Marcos,” Rodriguez said.