NAGA CITY, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo encountered a delay in her voting as the vote counting machine (VCM) assigned to her precinct malfunctioned.
Technicians at the clustered precinct 119 at the Tabuco Central School in this city said the machine was rejecting ballots being fed into it.
Robredo, who is running for vice president under the ruling Liberal Party, arrived at around 9:15 am. Unable to vote because of the malfunctioning VCM, Robredo said she will wait for a replacement machine.
Several cases of malfunctioning VCMs have been reported to Rappler via #PHVoteWatch.
A new VCM arrived at the precinct of Robredo past 10:30 am.
After waiting two hours, Robredo was finally able to cast her ballot at around 11:30 am.
Speaking to reporters after voting, Robredo said she was not worried that the malfunctioning VCM might not have been accidental, even if it was only her precinct that encountered the problem.
“Sana mechanical lang, di sinasadya,” she said. (I hope it’s only mechanical failure and wasn’t intentional.)
“Over the years, ang BEI (board of election inspectors) namin, napagkakatitiwalaan. Lahat ng parties may watchers. Sana di ma-affect integrity ng botohan,” she added.
(Over the years, our board of election inspectors are trusted. All the parties have poll watchers. I hope the integrity of the elections is not affected.)
Robredo is currently locked in a tight race for the vice presidency, statistically tied at the top spot in pre-election surveys with Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Before voting, Robredo made a quick stop at the Peñafrancia Basilica, and stopped by the tomb of her late husband, Jesse Robredo, at the Eternal Gardens.
She also stopped for a visit at the archbishop’s palace before proceeding to her voting precinct. – Rappler.com