MANILA, Philippines – Unfazed by the narrow lead of Camarines Sur Leni Robredo in the unofficial vice presidential tally Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr declared on Sunday, May 15, that he has won the tight race.
Marcos made the statement in an interview with CNN Philippines after attending mass at the Baclaran Redemptorist Church on Sunday, May 15, with members of his family, and his supporters.
“I have won,” Marcos said, when CNN Philippines asked him if he was optimistic that he will win.
His camp said the mass that the Marcos family and their supporters attended was for truth and integrity of the elections, amid allegations that the senator was being cheated in the vice presidential race.
Marcos’ confidence might have been buoyed by information from Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on the unaudited OAV tally of Marcos and Robredo.
The senator told CNN Philippines that he expected to lead in the OAV vice presidential tally.
On Saturday, Guanzon tweeted that Marcos got 176,669 votes compared to Robredo’s 89,935.
As of 4:56 PM, May 15, with 96.13% of precincts reporting, Robredo is still ahead with 14,022,625 votes while Marcos has 13,803,372.
Even as its candidate said he had won the vice presidential race, the Marcos camp slammed Robredo for claiming victory ahead of the official count, saying this was a “grave disservice” to the public.
Abakada Party-list Representative Jonathan dela Cruz, Marcos’ campaign advisor, told Rappler in an interview on Sunday that a winner may only be proclaimed based on the results of official canvassing, which is yet to start on May 23, when Congress resumes session.
“We should be more responsible than that. The official canvass has not been read so what is the point [of claiming victory]?” Dela Cruz said.
“You cannot make proclamations on the basis of this quick count….That is grave disservice,” he added, noting that this only sought to condition the mind of the people.
After a thanksgiving mass attended by Robredo and her supporters in Ateneo de Manila University, Boyet Dy, Robredo’s head of policy, announced that according to the latest count, including the overseas and local absentee voting, Robredo leads Marcos by 257,567 votes.
Dy said that even if Marcos wins all the 168,988 votes from the 9 remaining municipalities that have not yet transmitted their Certificates of Canvass, these will not be enough for him to overcome Robredo’s lead.
Marcos’ camp had cried foul over alleged cheating in the partial and unofficial results of the vice presidential race.
The camp had earlier called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to open their servers for public auditing and investigation.
Comelec, for its part, admitted there was a breach in the server but it was only “cosmetic” in nature – to change an error in candidate’s name that appears with a “?” instead of “ñ” – and had no bearing on the results.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista emphasized that the command, which altered the hash codes, has not affected the vote count in the Transparency Server in any way. (READ: Comelec on change in hash code: ‘No cheating’ and Election data quash Marcos’ cheating pattern claims) – Rappler.com