File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the camp of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr was "hallucinating or dreaming" when it claimed that the supposed data found in unused SD cards by the Commission on Election (Comelec) is proof of poll fraud.
Macalintal said Tuesday, January 17, the alleged data cannot prove Marcos' allegation that Robredo and the Liberal Party orchestrated cheating during the last elections because the process of decryption is not yet complete.
"The data from some of these 13 SD cards have not yet been decrypted, meaning they are still in encrypted form and have not yet been converted to its original form for an ordinary layman to understand their full contents," said Vice President Leni Robredo's chief legal counsel.
Macalintal also mocked the Marcos camp for having "bionic eyes" that allowed them to read and "immediately claim" the encrypted data was evidence of cheating.
"Such baseless claim and allegations only prove that they do not understand the process in an election protest involving automated elections," said Macalintal.
Clean and sealed
The camp of the defeated vice presidential candidate asserted on Monday that the data found in the SD cards of unused vote-counting machines (VCMs) provide a basis for protesting Robredo's victory.
Marcos' legal counsel Vic Rodriguez said that if the supposedly clean and sealed SD cards contain data, then it's proof the automated election system was manipulated. (READ: Marcos camp: Data in unused SD cards prove poll fraud)
Macalintal, however, reminded the camp that the basis for winning the protest is not the SD cards but the ballots cast in the VCMs compared to election documents such as the election returns and statement of votes.
"Not even a single ballot has been presented to the PET (Presidential Electoral Tribunal), hence, it is indeed ridiculous if not totally frivolous for the Marcos camp to make such a wide and speculative claim of massive fraud, and even think of victory at this stage of the election protest," he added.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez earlier said it is better for the camps to wait for the completion of the decryption process – the results of which will be forwarded to the PET. – Rappler.com