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Roxas spokesman: 'We will win this the honest way'

MANILA, Philippines – The campaign spokesmen of Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II dismissed as "misinformation" reports in social media that glitches in the vote-counting machines (VCMs) have led to votes for presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte being credited to Roxas.

Edwin Lacierda, who is also presidential spokesperson, said their camp never had to cheat to win national elections, as in 2010 and 2013, so they wouldn't do it now.

"Because, you know, we won 2010, we won 2013, we won without cheating, so we don’t intend to start cheating now. We will win this the honest way," he said in a Rappler interview on Sunday, May 8.

Lacierda said: "There’s been misinformation on Duterte votes being converted to Mar [votes]. I’ve spoken to our lawyers and in the places it allegedly happened, it never happened. May we ask media to make sure that if there’s such a report, the first thing that they should ask is, 'Where is that precinct?'To be able to determine where that precinct is, for us to be able to immediately address that, if that is true." 

The spokesman was reacting to reports that, during the final testing and sealing (FTS) period of the VCMs from May 2 to May 6, some machines counted votes for Roxas when it was Duterte's circle that shaded on the ballots. 

Lacierda asked the public to report these incidents to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) so that they can do something about it.

Ibarra Gutierrez, LP campaign spokesman, said the Comelec had issued a clarification on the issue, but some sources in the Duterte campaign repeated the reports.

"But the Comelec has actually already denied that. None of the tests they conducted on the machines had instances where ballots were misread. If there were technical problems, it was never the misreading of ballots. So again, we hope that’s something we can all move past," he said. 

'The ground is holding'

Despite Roxas lagging behing Duterte and Grace Poe in the polls, Lacierda and Gutierrez expressed a positive outlook on the results of the May 9 election.

"The wind is at Mar's back. Like what Barry said, the ground has shifted and perceptively, and actually in the ground, you see a lot of people moving to us. We have the silent majority, those people who used to be silent... and those who are still silent and leading towards Mar," Lacierda said.

The spokesmen insisted that some things couldn't be captured by the polls. 

Later on, Gutierrez said that the rise of the silent majority's support for Mar is due to the implications of a Duterte win: "Before, he wasn't being taken seriously by a large number of people. When he rose in the surveys, a sense of alarm attached to a large segment of the population and that's when they started to look at Mar, and that's what we attribute his current rise in the polls to."

Choosing Leni Robredo

Gutierrez and Lacierda said that Roxas chose Robredo based on their platform of good governance, 

They are hoping that if Roxas wins, Leni will continue his work and run for president after his term.

On the rise of Bongbong Marcos for vice president, Lacierda said it was due to education: "Educationally, the martial law years has never been explained in details for those millennials who are growing up...and also, there's always the fact that you tend to remember the good and never the bad...for them, they remember there was so many construction, there was so many infrastructure being built."

When asked about the possibility of a Duterte-Marcos win, Lacierda answered, "The Filipino people will do the right thing. Never again." – Rappler.com