MANILA, Philippines – Days after Liberal Party bet Leni Robredo claimed victory in the tight vice presidential race, the camp of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr said he will win in the official canvassing of votes.
Lawyer Jose Amor Amorado, who heads Marcos’ quick count operations, told reporters on Tuesday, May 17, that the vice presidential bet leads the race by more than 100,000 votes. This is based on their own tally of the copies of the certificates of canvass (COCs) obtained from across the country.
Amorado said they already have 104 out of 108 COCs from provinces and chartered cities nationwide. He did not discuss the 56 COCs for absentee votes.
“Based on our tally – and this is based on official certificates of canvass – the vote of BBM (Bongbong Marcos) is at 13,506,005, and the vote of Congresswoman Leni Robredo is 13,343,009…. This is as of 3:45 pm [of Tuesday], that’s why we are still optimistic we will still win the elections,” said Amorado.
“I have won,” he answered when CNN Philippines asked if he is still confident about winning the elections.
As of 5:56 pm on Tuesday, with 96.14% of the precincts having transmitted results to the Transparency Server of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Robredo was still leading the race with 14,022,939 votes (35.1%), while Marcos was second with 13,803,842 votes (34.6%).
The official canvassing of votes for president and vice president will be administered by the Senate and House of Representatives starting May 25.
Open the servers
Despite being confident of victory, Marcos’ camp was still firm with their call on the Comelec to open the servers for public auditing.
The senator’s legal team alleged last week that a new script injected into the Transparency Server may have caused the sudden surge in Robredo’s votes, eventually leading her to edge out Marcos in the race before dawn of May 10, the day after the elections.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista downplayed the accusation, saying that the change in script was only to apply a cosmetic change to correct names with “Ñ” that were appearing with a “?” in published results in online pages such as Rappler and GMA-7. Bautista said this did not affect the election results.
Marcos’ camp has since urged the Comelec to allow its own information and technology (IT) experts to check the server and open it for public auditing.
“By tomorrow (Wednesday) early afternoon we are filing a strongly-worded demand letter regarding the opening of its system for a system audit,” said Amorado.
Following their accusation of digital cheating against Robredo's camp, Amorado said that they saw a suspicious sum of under voting in the vice presidential position in several parts of the country. However, they did not compare their figures with past records of under voting. (READ: Election data quash Marcos' cheating pattern claims)
“There were more than 3,326,640 under votes, meaning these voters did not make any choice for the vice presidential position. Please note that the 2016 election had a higher turnout than 2010 and 2013,” said the lawyer.
"Not to mention that the VP race is highly contested, this makes the high under vote in the VP race rather suspicious," he added.
Under voting is when voters do not vote for any candidate running for a specific position. – Rappler.com