PET wants CamSur officials to explain irregularities in ballots

Rappler.com
The electoral tribunal asks local officials about wet ballot seals, missing election returns, and questionable signatures

BALLOTS. Men transfer ballot boxes from a truck to the Legislative Building in Pili, Camarines Sur where representatives from the Supreme Court are waiting for them. File photo from the Office of the Vice President

MANILA, Philippines – Camarines Sur local officials have been directed by the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to answer alleged irregularities spotted by revisors in the ongoing initial recount of vice presidential votes.

The PET promulgated a 9-page resolution on June 19, a copy of which was obtained by media only on Thursday, July 5, asking officials from Tinambac, Tigaon and Iriga in Camarines Sur to explain the alleged irregularities.

In Tinambac, there were:

  • Plastic seals in a ballot box which were wet
  • Missing election returns
  • Previously opened envelopes for minutes of voting 
  • Missing voter’s receipt box
  • Voter’s receipts scattered inside ballot box

In Tigaon, there were:

  • Signature of a Board of Election Inspectors chairman which “cannot be compared to any similar specimen in the other documents”
  • Zip ties detached from the ballot box and were already cut

In Barangay San Francisco, Iriga, there were:

  • Minutes of Voting (MOV) forms with substantial discrepancies
  • Different signatures in election documents of Board of Election Inspectors chair

Camarines Sur is the province of Vice President Leni Robredo.

In April, the PET asked local officials from Bato, Sagñay, Garchitorena and Ocampo to explain why ballots were wet or damaged.

Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr lost to Robredo by only 263,473 votes in the 2016 vice presidential election. He filed this electoral protest soon after.  (READ: TIMELINE: Marcos-Robredo election case)

An initial recount is being conducted on ballots from Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental. The results of the initial recount will be the basis of the PET to either terminate the protest, or proceed to do recount on other provinces. – Rappler.com