Bongbong Marcos served a manifestation of appreciation to the Supreme Court sitting as the PET and Omnibus Motion. He is stating in the manifestation that he is grateful for the PET’s decision. This is with the threshold not being the final determinant of the votes, with the ballot to still undergo appreciation to determine the true intent of the voter. Meanwhile, the culture of seniority at the SC is now back. This is as Chief Justice Teresita De Castro finishes her shortest term ever. Fairness can’t be alien anymore knowing that the blues now balances with the yellows.
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[VIDEO]: Mga empleyado ng SC, nagkulay asul sa huling flag-raising ceremony ni Chief Justice De Castro
Marcos is also expressing gratitude for the PET for maintaining Rule 43 which states that marks that don’t reach 50% of the oval will not be considered valid votes. However, for the Omnibus Motion, BBM is asking PET to withdraw part of their decision to use the election returns as the basis for the segregation of the ballots at the recount proceedings. Because this is in opposition to a previous decision of the Supreme Court versus the Comelec in the Lerias case.
Vital Evidence from the Supreme Court
In accordance with this, the Supreme Court says that the ballots serve as the strongest evidence and not the election returns. The Supreme Court adds that the election returns will only be used only if there are no ballots. With the ballots still there, it follows that the election returns shouldn’t be used. Consequently, Marcos asked again not to use the decrypted ballot images because they have been compromised.
The Use of the Decrypted Images
The PET has already said before that the decrypted ballot images will be used in place of the original if they are unreadable. The Supreme Court says that the decrypted ballot images serve as a functional equivalent of the original. This is also acting on the precedence of the cases Vinzons-Chato versus HRET and Maliksi versus Comelec. The PET further adds that BBM was not able to present evidence that the decrypted ballot images have been compromised.
Marcos’ Opposition to Use the Digital Prints
BBM’s camp, however, argues that these cases shouldn’t be used as a basis now because there is a difference between the images and the original ballots of the 2016 elections. This is regarding the squares that Smartmatic added to the ballot images. This shows that the images are not faithful reproductions of the original.
Wet and Damaged Ballots
With regards to the missing ballot images, BBM also expresses concern. The images from the VCM when taken are in a chronological order. Furthermore, each image has a sequence number that serves as control marks. However, it has been discovered that there are missing images on the first and middle parts and there are items added at the end. This shows as a clear indication of tampering.
Supreme Court Decision
With the ballot images as the basis of the results, manipulating them equates to manipulating the elections. This is clear evidence that the ballot images are compromised. In Naga City and Camarines Sur only, there are 37,159 ballot images that have been compromised in this way. This was shown in a Senate hearing on July 31 however 2 months after and there still is no answer from Smartmatic or Comelec. Nevertheless, CJ De Castro’s one month stint in the branch’s highest office seems like making a difference. For one, the yellow atmosphere now becomes blue which is a symbol of peace and harmony that is in line with Marcos’ idealism for unity.