Bongbong Marcos’ spokesman, Victor Rodriguez, discloses that the Comelec already starts to decrypt and print the ballot images on the SD cards. The venue of the activity is its main office in Intramuros, Manila. This follows the orders of the Supreme Court in relation to Marcos’ election protest against VP Leni Robredo.The Comelec prioritizes the three pilot provinces for the recount.
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Robredo Failed to Delay the Decryption
Robredo’s camp initially tried to postpone the scheduled decryption. They only brought two revisors, according to her lawyers. But the Comelec denied Robredo’s motion to postpone. “What are they afraid of? If they believe she won, they should be rushing to count the ballots. That way, this issue could finally be laid to rest in her favor. Instead, they have adopted a strategy of delay and obfuscation,” Rodriguez said. The activity covers precincts in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental. Rodriguez added.
7 Months to Finish
The process for the three pilot areas takes at least seven months. Rodriguez also mentioned that the PET recently ordered its exploratory teams to start locating the ballot boxes. This is for the clustered precincts of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental. When they are done, it could order its retrieval and transfer to Manila. Under the Rules of PET, the three pilot provinces for the recount will best exemplify the merits or legitimacy of Marcos’ protest.
Most VP Candidates were from the Bicol Region
Rodriguez said it was highly improbable for Robredo to get 80 percent of the votes in Camarines Sur. Other vice presidential candidates were either from the Bicol region or had ties in the said region. Robredo obtained 643,865 votes as against Marcos’ 40,195 votes in the May 2016 election. The other Bicolano candidates namely Senator Francis Escudero, who is from Sorsogon, got 36,509 votes. Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, whose wife is from Albay, received 14,601 votes. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV got 11,334 votes. Senator Gregorio Honasan II, whose mother is from Sorsogon, garnered only 7,005 votes.
Highest Election Undervotes
Rodriguez wondered why Robredo obtained 573,729 votes as against Marcos’ 94,411 votes in Iloilo. His running mate, the late former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, was from Iloilo. Marcos received 99,208 votes in Negros Oriental as against Robredo’s 248,102 votes. Despite the former senator’s backing of the “biggest political families” in the province. Rodriguez added the three provinces had the highest undervotes. That raised suspicion on the results of the polls. Undervotes are ballots not counted because the voter did not vote for a certain position. Unclear markings in the ballot can also result to that.