THE Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has acknowledged many irregularities in the May 2016 elections, uncovered during the recount of the vice presidential results sought by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
The PET found irregularities in Camarines Sur and Iloilo, pilot provinces subject of Marcos’ protest against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
THE Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has acknowledged many irregularities in the May 2016 elections, uncovered during the recount of the vice presidential results sought by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. The PET found irregularities in Camarines
In a resolution dated June 19, 2018, the PET ordered a municipal treasurer and a chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors in Camarines Sur to explain the irregularities found in their ballot boxes.
“Note the Incident Report dated May 25, 2018 re: Clustered Precinct No. 36, Brgy. Lupi, Tinambac, Camarines which reads ‘4 black zip ties used to seal ballot box instead of Comelec red plastic seals; plastic seals found inside ballot box, cannot be found; election return envelope not inside ballot box, cannot be found; envelopes for MOV (minutes of voting) and torn ballots appear to have been previously opened; and Voter’s Receipt box is missing; Voter’s Receipts found scattered inside ballot box; Direct the Revision Committee xxxx to continue with the revision of paper ballots; and direct the Municipal Treasurer of Tinambac, Camarines Sur to explain the observations in the subject Incident Report within ten days from notice hereof,” the PET said.
“Note the Incident Report dated May 30, 2018 re: Clustered Precinct No. 7, Brgy. San Francisco, Iriga City, Camarines Sur which reads ‘there is no explanation in the MOVs with the regard to the usage of two MOV forms.
The entries in the two MOVs have substantial discrepancies. It cannot be determined with certainty which of the two was actually used or both were used. As for the different signatures of the BEI Chairman in the official ballots, MOVs and envelopes, it cannot be ascertained if signatures were made by the BEI Chairman or signed by different persons; direct the Revision Committee xxxx to continue with the revision of paper ballots and reflect the entries of both MOVs in the Revision Report and direct the Chairperson of the Board of Election Inspectors to explain within ten days from notice hereof why there are two MOVs inside the ballot box,” it added.
On the first day of the revision, many irregularities were found, such as wet ballots. This was discovered by the Marcos camp as the ballot boxes were opened to begin the recount.
The revisors initially found that 38 out of 40 opened ballot boxes from the town of Bato, Camarines Sur had missing audit logs.
In a 9-page Notice dated April 24, 2018, the PET ordered the municipal treasurers in the towns of Bato, Sagñay, Garchitorena and Ocampo to explain within 10 days from receipt why the ballots in their respective areas were wet or damaged.
The PET also acknowledged that some ballot boxes were re-reopened after they were sealed. As noted in the incident reports relative to the re-opening of some ballot boxes, one ballot box was found re-sealed without returning the broken security seal.
Aside from this, the PET issued another order dated July 3, 2018, wherein it took note of the many incident reports of the Revision Committee in the revision of votes from Iloilo showing excess ballots.
With this, the 15-man tribunal suspended the revision of the affected clustered precincts showing the discrepancies in the ballots counted and the votes cast as indicated in the MOVs.
In his protest, Marcos assailed the election results in 39,221 clustered precincts — 36,465 of which he paid for a manual count and judicial revision. He wants results in the remaining 2,756 annulled. Based on the Commission on Elections data, the 39,221 clustered precincts are composed of 132,446 precincts.
Marcos lost to Robredo by only 263,473 votes. He accused Robredo of benefitting from massive electoral fraud such as pre-shading of ballots, pre-loaded secure digital cards, misreading of ballots, malfunctioning VCMs, and an “abnormally high” unaccounted votes/undervotes for the position of vice president.