Worried about cheating, Robredo says remember 1986

Bea Cupin
Worried about cheating, Robredo says remember 1986

Photo by Martin San Diego/Rapple

The Liberal Party vice presidential candidate calls out chief rival Ferdinand Marcos Jr for 'mind conditioning'

MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential bet and unofficial count front runner Leni Robredo on Wednesday, May 18, welcomed a “system audit” of the servers of the Commission on Election (Comelec), but at the same time hit rivals who who had cried foul over cheating allegations supposedly without evidence.

Sang ayon ako na may system audit para maalis ‘yung lahat ng duda tungkol sa integridad ng proseso ng eleksyon…. ‘Yung hindi okay sa akin ‘yung nagpaparatang na nandaya na wala namang basehan,” Robredo told reporters in a chance interview in Naga City.

(I’m for a system audit to remove any doubts over the integrity of the elections. Those steps are fine with me. What isn’t fine with me are those who accuse others of cheating even without any basis.)

In Manila, however, Robredo’s lawyer Romeo Macalintal slammed her rival Ferdinand Marcos Jr for the “very desperate move” to make the Commission on Elections produce the evidence for him by opening part of its election system to a public audit.

Robredo currently leads the vice presidential race by a hairline over Marcos, according to partial, unofficial count via the Comelec’s transparency server.

Marcos has accused Robredo of cheating, expressing doubt over her ability to overtake his early lead.

Both the LP candidate and her team have dismissed any of those allegations, and have called on Marcos to wait for the final count before dishing out allegations of corruption.

Both candidates this week said they were leading the count, based either on public data from transparency servers or incomplete election returns.

On Wednesday, Robredo expressed concern over the “script” Marcos and his team are cooking up. 

Sana lang walang balak na pandaraya. Kasi alam naman natin na may history na ganun. Hindi natin makakalimutan ‘yung nangyari nung 1986 na siguro kung hindi nag-walk out ‘yung mga tabulators baka nadaya nga tayo,” said Robredo, when asked if she was worried about cheating during the canvassing process.

(I hope there are no plans to cheat. Because we know that there is a history of cheating. We will not forget what happened in 1986. Maybe if the tabulators didn’t walk out, we would’ve been cheated.)

Robredo was referring to the walkout of vote tabulators during the 1986 snap presidential election. In that race, Senator Marcos’ father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, was challenged by Corazon Aquino, the mother of President Benigno Aquino III.

The tabulators walked out because their superiors started to manipulate the results in favor of Marcos. “We did not want ourselves to be used in any way that violates fundamental professional ethics,” the tabulators later said in a statement.

Robredo also said she was “worried” because their numbers, the Comelec’s numbers, and Marcos’ numbers did not seem to match.

Sana wala silang binabalak na pandaraya na gagawin sa canvassing. Kasi ‘yung wino-worry ko ngayon klaro naman ‘yung numero pero parang mina-mind condition nila. Hindi ko alam kung precursor ito to something, pero sana hindi,” added Robredo.

(I hope they don’t plan to cheat the canvassing. That’s why I worry about: the numbers are clear but clearly, they’re resorting to mind conditioning. I don’t know if this is a precursor to something. I hope it isn’t.) – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.