A DAY before Congress proclaims the president and vice president, a witness from Quezon province revealed that some 500,000 votes were shaved from the tally of independent vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and were added to the votes of his rival, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, who won by only 263,000 votes in the official count.
Robredo is set to be proclaimed today by Congress as winner in the vice presidential race.
Several hundreds of thousands of votes were also deducted from the votes of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe and transferred to the administration’s presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II, the witness said.
The witness said the vote shaving and vote padding were done in a warehouse that he was told to set up in Lucena for the “covert dagdag-bawas operation” run by the Liberal Party and Smartmatic personnel.
The alleged cheating was carried out by intercepting the transmissions of the results from the precincts to the municipal official board of canvassers.
“The IT personnel hired by the Liberal Party were the ones who transmitted the intercepted results after the vote shaving and vote padding were done,” the witness said.
The witness, a municipal hall official, whose mayor was an LP official, was presented to the media by poll watchdog and civil society group Council on Philippine Affairs (Copa), headed by Pastor Saycon.
The witness, who requested anonymity and preferred to be called “Ka Bert,” covered his face with a mask for security purposes. He is a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo.In a news conference at the residence of Saycon in Ayala, Alabang, Ka Bert recounted that a month before the May 9 polls, he was told by the LP mayor to find a warehouse that would be converted into a “war room” or command center for monitoring purposes.
“At first I thought it was for monitoring only and so I never [saw] malice [in] the mayor’s order,” Ka Bert said.
He said the mayor and the people from Smartmatic rejected the first warehouse he found because it was far from the voting centers.
“They said they needed a place that was close to the voting centers so I found them a place near the city hall, which was also close to the voting centers,” he said.
Several computers, TV monitors and other office equipment were brought in, he said.
“One week before the elections, I was surprised that at least nine vote counting machines or VCMs arrived and nine IT personnel, hired by LP’s Mar Roxas also came. Five of the nine IT personnel were from Smartmatic and the four others were from Quezon province,” the witness said.
“I thought at first the VCMs were intended to replace those that will conk out,” the witness said.
“On the day of the elections, after 5 p.m., I was shocked to see the IT people becoming busy operating the VCMs and started tinkering the machines and to my dismay, started changing the results, the figures, the votes. The total number of votes were the same except that the votes for Robredo and Roxas had been padded from the votes that were shaved from their opponents,” the witness said.
“When the VCMs started to get transmissions from the precincts, I asked the IT people why were there transmissions coming in because I knew that from the voting precincts, the transmissions should go straight to the transparency server of the [Commission on Elections]. They told me that it was they who would transmit the votes,” he said.
Ka Bert said he personally saw how votes transmitted from the voting precincts were being changed before they were transmitted to the transparency server.
He added that even the votes of Duterte were shaved and transferred to Roxas. He said the votes of Binay and Poe were also reduced in favor of Roxas.
“But the biggest reduction was made against Marcos because some 500,000 of his votes were given to Robredo. For Duterte it was about 300,000 votes, for Binay, about 200,000 and Grace Poe, too,” he said.
In the Certificate of Canvass for Quezon province, Robredo won with 385,164 votes over Marcos’ 173,394 votes.
He said a staff of Roxas was the one who gave money to the IT guys for the operation.
“I recognized him as a Roxas guy because every time Roxas would visit our province, he was with the advance party who was arranging the itinerary of the secretary,” Ka Bert said in Filipino.
He said the LP and Smartmatic IT personnel used “jammers” to intercept the results and the Board of Election Inspectors from the precinct level to the municipal and provincial thought they had successfully transmitted the results.
“They did not notice that their transmissions had been intercepted and hijacked,” the witness said.
He said he started to become suspicious when the VCMs began arriving and was given the consistent answer of “stop asking questions, this is an order from the top.”
Ka Bert said he decided to expose the election cheating because he could not stomach how the whole election system was bastardized in his area.
In fact, he said, four of the IT personnel, who manned the VCMs in the Lucena warehouse would join him in testifying when needed.
“They are also willing to testify and they have many documents to prove that indeed the illegal transmission of votes from all over Quezon province, and the vote shaving and vote padding happened,” Ka Bert said.
Saycon said there was a need to investigate the elections because of the many anomalies reported.
“There was wholesale pre-shading [of ballots], massive vote buying, SD card manipulation, and there was a change in the hash code, and now, transmission diversion,” Saycon said.
“It was a multi-level operation, so we were surprised that Roxas suddenly became No. 2 and then in the Senate, [Senate President Franklin] Drilon suddenly became No. 1. It’s a good thing Duterte’s lead was overwhelming—but even his votes were shaved, so he should step into this because stealing votes is worse than stealing from the coffers.”
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