FALSE: PET ad hoc committee ‘confirms cheating’ during 2016 elections

The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has not made any confirmation or pronouncement on supposed cheating in the 2016 polls

Claim: The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) ad hoc committee supposedly “confirmed” that there was “cheating” in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental during the 2016 elections. 

The blog site Forum Philippines mentioned the claim in an article published on May 27.

The claim reads: “Ngayong mismong Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) Ad Hoc Committee na ang nagkumpirma ng dayaan noong 2016 election sa Camarines Sur (CamSur) at sa Negros Oriental, wala kang magagawa kundi ilabas ang resulta ng recount at paspasan na ang pagdinig at pagdesisyon sa protesta ni Bongbong laban kay Leni Robredo.”

(Now that the PET ad hoc committee has already confirmed that there was cheating during the 2016 elections in Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental, you can’t do anything but to release the results of the recount, and fast-track the hearing as well as the decision on Bongbong’s protest against Leni Robredo.)

The claim was used as an attack against Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, who was accused of causing the delay in the poll recount results allegedly to protect Vice President Leni Robredo.

The blog post also claimed that the presence of wet ballots is “crystal-clear” evidence that Robredo “did not win” in Camarines Sur over former senator Bongbong Marcos.

The claim was spotted on CrowdTangle. The blog post was posted on Facebook at least 85 times mostly by pages expressing support for Marcos and President Rodrigo Duterte, gaining over 1,000 shares and almost 6,000 combined reactions and comments.

Rating: FALSE 

The facts: The PET ad hoc committee did not confirm supposed cheating in the 2016 elections.

In a text message to Rappler, SC Public Information Office (PIO) chief Brian Hosaka said “there was no such confirmation or pronouncement by the PET.” He added, “My office will make the appropriate announcements should there be one.”

Under the law, the SC, sitting as the PET, is the “sole judge” of electoral protests for presidential and vice-presidential races. The PET ad hoc committee is there to supervise the proceedings.

The blog post cited a Manila Times article about the discovery of wet ballots in Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental. In the article, however, it was only reported that the PET ad hoc committee discovered the wet ballots from the two provinces. There was no pronouncement of cheating.

Aside from the discovery of the wet ballots, there have been no recent major updates from the PET on Marcos’ electoral protest against Robredo. (READ: TIMELINE: Marcos-Robredo election case)

Multiple claims about the supposed results of the electoral protest have been spreading on Facebook since the recount started in April 2018. But the PET has yet to decide on the matter. (READ: FALSE: ‘PET recount done,’ Bongbong Marcos defeated– Glenda Marie Castro/Rappler.com

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