SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday bared a “sinister plot” by the Palace to install his opponent in the vice presidential race, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, as president by ousting Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte by impeachment.
Marcos said he was convinced that reports reaching them of a “Plan B,” which would set Duterte up for ouster, were coming true.
“It looks like they are pushing through with Plan B because they are holding back the transmission of votes from my bailiwicks to make it appear that congresswoman Robredo is leading in the unofficial quick count,” Marcos said in an interview.
The senator said the administration would do anything to achieve its goal to put Robredo in power after President Benigno Aquino III declared that he would stop Marcos from becoming vice president.
Plan B, he said, would make it appear that Robredo, the President’s party mate in the ruling Liberal Party, was slowly catching up through preelection surveys to establish a fake trend.
“This will give them the justification for a Robredo win,” he said.
“Once she is elected vice president, impeachment proceedings will be carried out to remove Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as President and install Robredo as president,” Marcos said.
He said the Palace’s Plan B scenario was to ensure that “the president will still come from the Liberal Party and will remain in control of Malacañang since its standard bearer, Mar Roxas, will not win.”
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. dismissed talk of Plan B as “irresponsible and reckless.”
But Marcos said Plan B had begun with preelection surveys that showed Robredo gaining, and was continuing with the way the quick count results were being reported.
He said many of the results from his bialiwicks in the Solid North have not been reflected in the partial and unofficial quick count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV). “There are still votes from Isabela, Pangasinan and different parts of the North that have yet to be tallied,” Marcos said.
He added some of the results have not yet been transmitted because of protests at the local level, but in other instances, he saw no reason for the delay.
This explained how his one-million lead before midnight Monday had vanished overnight by Tuesday morning, when Robredo overtook him in the unofficial quick count.
“They are making sure it looks like Robredo is leading by holding back my votes so that they don’t show up in the PPCRV count,” he said in Filipino.
Marcos also disclosed that operators in Mindanao were also trying to manipulate the election results in the LP-controlled Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The senator, however, said he remains confident that when all the votes are tallied, he would still win.
“If you add all the votes that have not been transmitted, I’d be ahead,” he said.
Marcos said he would gather more evidence of the manipulation in preparation for filing a complaint.
“We have to watch this closely so that we can show we really won,” he said.
Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, Marcos’ political campaign adviser, said the “suspicious and alarming trend” being shown while the nation was sleeping ran contrary to the internal survey conducted by their camp.
“We are certain that we will win this election. Our internal survey is quite reflective of the Social Weather Survey exit polls which showed that Senator Marcos led the vice presidential survey with 34.9 percent as against Rep. Leni Robredo’s 32.5 percent,” Dela Cruz said.
Marcos has set up a “quick count” action center in his campaign headquarters to monitor the conduct of elections and the election results.
Marcos said his quick-count nerve center would allow all his volunteers and supporters to report directly to him what was happening on the ground.
“We will closely watch the developments. This is our own way of monitoring the conduct of elections as well as the elections results. We intend to actively participate in ensuring clean, honest and credible elections,” he said.
Marcos repeated his call to the public to be vigilant and take extra efforts to guard their votes.
“We cannot overemphasize this to our voters. We all need to be involved in this endeavor because our future is at stake here,” he said.
“We need to guard our votes. It is the only way to make sure that our true collective sentiments will be reflected in the final results,” Marcos said.
Marcos has asked the Commission on Elections and the PPCRV to terminate the unofficial count of votes for vice president, which showed Robredo ahead.
“It is unfortunate that while the whole country was asleep the glitch in the canvassing occurred and from then on we saw a progression of so-called updates that showed an alarming and suspicious trend reducing our lead, contrary to the results of independent exit polls and our own internal surveys,” Dela Cruz said.
“As we speak we are sending an urgent request to the Comelec and the PPCRV to terminate the unofficial count, which now stands at 90.99 percent,” he added.
“In the past, the unofficial count was designed not to be completed to avoid the possibility of confusion and conflict with the official one. There is no reason for this not to be the norm this time around,” he said.
“Thus, although we are certain that if the unofficial count continues we will emerge victorious, we do not want the official canvass to be conducted by the National Board of Canvassers [NBOC] preempted by the unofficial count.”
Dela Cruz pointed out that many votes from Marcos bailiwicks have not been transmitted, including Ilocos Sur, with only 11 percent; Nueva Vizcaya, 12 percent; Apayao, 18 percent; Abra, 11 percent; Lanao del Norte, 12 percent; Zamboanga del Sur, 9 percent; and Sultan Kudarat, 22 percent as of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
As of press time, Robredo garnered 13,364,461 votes to Marcos’ 13,194,150 votes.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano came in third with 5,469,894 votes followed by Senator Francis Escudero with 4,599,961 votes, while Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Gregorio Honasan got 799,922 and 719, 266 votes, respectively.
Both Escudero and Trillanes have already conceded.
Amor Amorado, head of Marcos’ quick count center, said their internal count was based on a copy of the certificates of canvass that their people on the ground have gathered.
Meanwhile, former Biliran congressman Glenn Chong also said the Comelec and the Smartmatic must explain the reduction in the votes of Escudero and the apparent addition of an almost similar amount of votes to Robredo.
He noted that at 5:30 a.m. this morning, votes for Senator Escudero went down from 4,486,335 as of 4:59 a.m. to 4,449,913 votes or a deduction of 36,442 votes while votes for Robredo rose from 13,014,447 to 13,050,113 votes. He said the reduction in Escudero’s vote of 36,422 votes is almost identical to the addition of 35,668 votes for Robredo.
Since there cannot be any transmission of a negative vote, Chong said it was not possible for the vote of one candidate to go down.
He pointed out that the results came out in two major TV networks, but have since been removed.
Chong, who claimed to be a victim of poll cheating in the 2010 elections, is now one of the leading transparency advocates in the automated elections.
He urged the camp of Marcos and other candidates who suspect poll irregularities to get audit logs of the votes from the precincts and the municipal board of canvassers as well as the statistical reports and transmission reports so investigators can cross-match the figures.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, meanwhile, said the tight race between Marcos and Robredo highlighted the importance of overseas Filipinos in the electoral process.
“I think the clear message there is, gone are the times when the votes of the overseas voters are ignored,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez said the 400,000 votes from overseas would be crucial in a race where margins are so narrow.
So far, the Comelec has received results from Malaysia, Agaña in Guam, Yangon in Myanmar, Prague in Czech Republic, and the Vatican.
Earlier, Marcos cited irregularities in overseas absentee voting, where votes cast for him ended up with other vice presidential candidates. With Sandy Araneta
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.