In The Public Square

[WATCH] In The Public Square with John Nery: Preloaded elections?
[WATCH] In The Public Square with John Nery: Preloaded elections?
It took almost a year, but the questions raised by former DICT chief Eliseo Rio and company about the conduct of the May 2022 elections are finally getting traction. What has changed? And what does that tell us about what really happened on May 9, 2022?

Nearly a year after the 2022 presidential election – where Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won by a landslide over then-vice president Leni Robredo – some quarters continue to raise questions over the results. Among them are the so-called Truth and Transparency Trio, consisting of former DICT chief Eliseo Rio, former elections commissioner and National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) chair Gus Lagman, and former FINEX president Franklin Ysaac.

This is their theory: Only 17 minutes after voting closed in the May 9, 2022, the transparency servers of the Commission on Elections showed its first count, involving some 1.5 million votes. But a time-and-motion analysis of the tasks that the election boards must complete, including printing out eight copies of the election return, shows that the process takes at least half an hour. How is it possible for vote counting machines from an estimated 2,000 or so clustered precincts to transmit their results in 17 minutes or less?

They have tried all remedies, including petitioning the Supreme Court, to get answers.

However, the realities on the ground and the way the Philippines’ automated election system works would show that it didn’t have to take half an hour to transmit results from the precincts, thus the early bulk that was recorded. (READ MORE HERE: 2022 polls: Where are we on issues of VCM ‘discrepancy,’ transmission logs?)

Early in the canvassing period in 2022, Rappler also published an explainer on the constant vote ratio to dispel allegations that those were indicative of cheating. We also sat down early on with tech-savvy representatives of Namfrel and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting who said they didn’t see indications of fraud based on the nationwide poll watching operations they conducted.

Robredo herself acknowledged that her camp did not see evidence of cheating in 2022 elections, and thus didn’t want to file a protest to raise false hopes among her supporters.

In the latest episode of In The Public Square, veteran journalist and Rappler columnist John Nery hears out Rio about his continuing questions about the elections.

Watch In The Public Square on Wednesday, April 12, at 8 pm. –

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