PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte may also be a victim of election fraud, particularly vote shaving, during the 2016 national elections, the camp of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Tuesday.
A spokesman for Marcos, Vic Rodriguez, said the ongoing recount to settle the former senator’s election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo showed discrepancies in the votes for Duterte in Camarines Sur.
“We are not surprised by such a report because it just confirms what we have been saying all along—that the cheating was widespread and that it also affected President Duterte, but his lead was [so] insurmountable that all attempts [to derail his election] failed,” Rodriguez said.
The Marcos camp was referring to reports last week that revisors in the ongoing recount counted 600 votes on precinct that showed only 500 votes cast in the 2016 national elections.
Revisors supposedly saw similar incidents in other precincts and that the uncounted votes for the President could reach 50,000 in cities and towns in Camarines Sur, Robredo’s province.
Revisors have randomly checked votes for the presidency supposedly to check if there were also discrepancies in the presidential race after seeing discrepancies in the results in the official canvass for the vice presidential race.
The recovered or uncounted votes for Duterte, however, are not relevant to the ongoing PET recount, which only covers votes for Robredo and Marcos.
Duterte won the 2016 presidential poll with 16,601,997 votes or over 6.6 million more than his closest rival, Liberal Party’s Mar Roxas, per official tally by a joint congressional canvassing committee.
The PET recount has so far finished the recount of all the collected ballot boxes from 22 towns of Camarines Sur - Baao, Balatan, Bato, Buhi, Bula, Camaligan, Canaman, Ocampo, Gainza, Garchitorena, Lagonoy, Magarao, Pili, Presentacion, Sangay, San Fernando, Milaor, Minalabac, Lupi, Pamplona, Pasacao and Del Gallego.
The tribunal continued the revision of votes Tuesday for 15 more towns from the province, including Libmanan and Sipocot.
The first six weeks of the PET revision of votes has raised several questions.
Revisors have been finding wet ballot boxes, unused or excess ballots with shaded votes for Robredo, missing audit logs and missing voters’ receipts in Camarines Sur towns.
They also discovered ballots with what appeared to be cigarette burns on their edges and holes in the middle portion.
The same ballot box did not have accompanying election records like election returns, voter’s receipts and minutes of voting.
Revisors also found ballots that appeared to have been soaked in liquid chemical as well as jumbled election documents.
Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016, claiming that the camp of Robredo cheated in the automated polls in the May 2016 national polls.
Robredo won the vice presidential race in the May 2016 polls with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.