Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo continues to amaze in her own deceptive way, although we rarely see her acting, thinking or speaking on her own. Consider:
1. During the early tabulation of votes on election day, Monday, May 9, 2016, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was leading Robredo by over a million votes.
By the following morning, however, we woke up to find that the vote tabulation had somersaulted. It now showed Robredo in the lead, having overtaken overnight Marcos’ seemingly insurmountable lead. It showed her leading by a hundred thousand votes.
2. In the exit polls on Election Day 2016, the polling firms reported that candidate Rodrigo Duterte and candidate Marcos had gotten remarkably similar percentages of the votes.
According to the exit polls, Duterte was pulling 38.20 percent against rival candidate for the presidency Mary Grace Poe with 22 percent, while the race for the vice presidency, Marcos had 38.1 percent against Robredo’s 33 percent.
The completed tabulation confirmed Duterte’s exit poll lead with his electoral victory.
On the other hand, the tabulation nullified Marcos’ lead in the exit polls. It showed Robredo leading Marcos by 263,000 votes.
How could Duterte and Marcos have gone in different directions overnight?
How did Robredo transform the 38 percent to 33 percent ratio of the votes so neatly? Did it happen in one blow or incrementally?
3. In the 2016 elections in the National Capital Region, Marcos beat Robredo in all 23 cities and municipalities of Metro Manila.
In Philippine elections, it is historically the rule that the winner in the presidential and vice presidential contests beat their closest rivals in Metro Manila.
Robredo is the first national (presidential or vice presidential) candidate who lost in all of Metro Manila, and yet still managed to win in the national vote. This is a mathematical feat of Olympic exertions, easy to say, but hard to explain statistically.
This is so intriguing that I think the comparative vote of Marcos and Robredo, province by province, or region by region, should be tallied side by side for comparison.
4. When the vote recount in three pilot provinces were finally undertaken three years ago, it started with Robredo allegedly leading Marcos by 263,000 votes.
Along the way, it was discovered that in Camarines Sur, Robredo’s home province, the ballot boxes were water-logged and ballots were spoiled.
By the time the pilot recount was finished by revisors, it was alleged that Robredo had gained an additional 25,000 votes. Marcos gained only 5,000 votes.
In short, Robredo had increased her lead. But how did she pad her lead and with what? Waterlogged ballots and the counting of insufficiently shaded ballots.
Based on this, Justice Alfredo Caguioa wrote his draft ruling on the Marcos protest. He urged the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to dismiss the protest.
The whole reasoning was so spurious, nine justices voted against the Caguioa ruling. Only one other justice, Antonio Carpio, joined Caguioa in his ponencia.
6. In Caguioa’s view, Marcos should have made a substantial recovery in the vote recount in the three pilot provinces for the election protest to proceed to the next stages.
In other words, Marcos must add to his votes and overtake Robredo, in order to win his protest.
This absurdly assumes that Robredo’s vote count would remain where it was at the start, permanently ahead.
It does not admit of the likely possibility that Robredo’s votes would dramatically decline as the ballots were appreciated and recounted.
If Caguioa continues as ponente in the case, PET will no doubt pursue this dubious approach to the protest.
The vote recount clearly should not begin with the national vote tabulation, because this precisely is what the Marcos protest is questioning.
As the protest and recount proceed to the other stages, the tabulation will operate like an elevator. Marcos votes will rise, while Robredo’s votes will progressively go down.
When the startling results in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are examined, the extent of the irregularity in the 2016 elections will begin to show.
But the real extent of the cheating must be fully exposed.
What happened in the election?
During the campaign, when the election polls were showing that Marcos was decisively walking away with the vice presidential race, then President Benigno Aquino 3rd expressed his consternation and frustration over where the elections were tending.
He said in so many words that a Marcos victory must not happen. He wanted a plan of action.
It was a scene reminiscent of the story of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and King Henry 2nd.
Becket was a good friend of Henry 2nd, whom he appointed first as his chancellor, and then as the Archbishop of Canterbury,
In the Cambridge cathedral, Becket took his office to heart.
Henry and Becket clashed over the issue of clerical privilege. Henry stated that the Church was subject to the law of the land, but Becket insisted that the Church was above the law.
Their confrontation came to a head at Northampton Castle in October 1164, when supporters of Henry questioned Becket’s loyalty to his king by accusing him of being a traitor.
Preaching from the cathedral on Christmas Day 1170, Becket again displayed his stormy temperament when he excommunicated some of his fellow bishops with the words, “May they all be damned by Jesus Christ!”
Henry became incensed when he heard of this outburst and is said to have uttered the fateful words, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”
Four of Henry’s knights took this as a summons to action; they left for Canterbury immediately and murdered Becket in the cathedral.
Something similar may have happened in the May 2016 elections.
To Aquino’s declaration that a Marcos victory must not happen, key Aquino officials went to work in sending Marcos into defeat and making Robredo’s implausible victory possible.
I have a theory that the Aquino administration had a plan to buy and cheat its way to victory in the 2016 election.
When they looked at electoral situation on the final week of the campaign, however, they realized that Duterte’s lead over Mar Roxas was too formidable to challenge. They saw that rigging a Roxas victory would have meant violence and an unruly aftermath.
With Roxas a goner, the Aquino strategists settled on a second plan to please the president. They would instead cheat Marcos of victory.
Robredo became the beneficiary of a dreadful retreat from a plan to cheat for Roxas.
Roxas still placed second to Duterte in the vote count. This too shows some aspects of the plan.
Leni Robredo now wails, “How many times do I have to win?”
Only once, madam. But you must win in an authentic vote count, not in the fraudulent Liberal Party vote count.
Alfredo Caguioa and Antonio Carpio cannot win this contest for you.