Macalintal: Nothing wrong with PH election laws

Lian Buan
Macalintal: Nothing wrong with PH election laws


‘Wala pa pong napapatunayang pandaraya from 2010 to 2016 elections,’ says Romulo Macalintal, the election lawyer of Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition senatorial candidate Romulo Macalintal said on Monday, March 4, “there is nothing wrong” with Philippine election laws.

“We have the best laws all over the world, in terms of elections, and these automated elections, maraming nagsasabi may dayaan, wala pong napapatunayang pandaraya from 2010 to 2016 elections,” Macalintal said on Monday during Rappler’s #TheLeaderIWant senatorial forum.

(Many people are saying there was cheating, but no fraud has been proven from the 2010 to 2016 elections.)

Macalintal was asked during the forum what legislation he can introduce as a senator to help restore the trust of Filipino voters on the elections.  

“Hindi natin kailangan ng bagong batas, ang kailangan natin mapatunayan sa taong bayan na ang halalan ay maayos; people are claiming puwedeng mandaya, experts are claiming nadadaya ‘yan, pero may ebidensya ba ng pandaraya?” Macalintal said.

(We don’t need new laws, what we need is to prove to Filipinos that the elections are clean. People are claiming you can cheat, experts are claiming it can be fixed, but is there evidence?)

Robredo vs Marcos

Macalintal is a veteran election lawyer who now represents Vice President Leni Robredo in the ongoing electoral protest filed against her by Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“Ang  problema dito ‘yung mga natatalo, ayaw tumanggap ng pagkatalo, ngayon pa lang ‘yung kaso ni VP Leni Robredo, bakit nag-poprotesta, hindi dahil may pandaraya kundi dahil ayaw tumanggap ng pagkatalo,” Macalintal said.

(The problem here are the losers, they cannot accept defeat, like what we see here in the case of VP Leni Robredo, why is he protesting, not because there’s cheating but because they cannot accept defeat.)

Macalintal added that the integrity of the automated elections can be attested to by the correspondence of one ballot image to every ballot.

“All these people who are claiming na may nandaya, lahat chinallenge ko na, just show me one ballot where the vote of A was counted by PCOS as the vote of B, that’s the best way to determine kung talagang may pandaraya ‘yung mga makina, until now wala pa ring nakakapagpatunay,” Macalintal said.

(All these people who are claiming that someone cheated, I’ve challenged them all, just show me one ballot where the vote of A was counted by Precinct Count Optical Scan as the vote of B, that’s the best way to determine if there was cheating using the machines, but no one has proven it until now.)

The Robredo camp is insisting that ballot images be used in the initial recount. The Marcos camp had claimed that several ballot images from 12 towns in Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental had “questionable” marks that supposedly indicate electoral fraud.

Pressed on the question on how to improve the elections and boost their credibility, Macalintal said the right to suffrage should be included as a subject as early as high school. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.