Robredo's votes exceeded the number of voters who voted in Camarines Sur towns

Wednesday April 18, 2018 ()

Emotions ran high Tuesday, April 17, 2018 when revisors from both the camps of former Senator Bongbong Marcos and Leni Robredo clashed over the move of her revisors to claim the excess ballots shaded for Robredo, despite the fact that her votes had exceeded the number of votes cast.

Insiders at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) said this came after revisors uncovered more anomalies in the conduct of the vice presidential elections during yesterday's revision at the Tribunal.

Robredo vs Marcos

They claimed revisors continued to discover excess or unused ballots that were shaded for Robredo from the clustered precincts in the towns in Camarines Sur which were being revised.

Moreover, according to the insiders, the votes in the election results also did not match the physical count of the ballots.

They asserted that Robredo's votes exceeded the number of voters who voted.

However, tension arose when revisors of Robredo started to claim even those excess ballots that were shaded in her favor in the clustered precincts from the town of Buhi, Camarines Sur.

"The revisors of Marcos of course opposed the moves because they are excess ballots or stray ballots.

The fact that these ballots were shaded for Robredo and are proof of pre-shading is bad enough, but for the revisors of Robredo to claim the shaded ballots in her favor, is really preposterous", an insider said.

The insider added that the pre-shaded ballots and disparity in the ERs (Election Returns) and the physical count had been observed since the beginning of the recount but it came to a head Tuesday when Robredo's revisors started to claim even those excess ballots that had been shaded for Robredo.

As a result, the revision of the affected precincts did not push through and the votes were set aside until the PET decides to do otherwise.

Insiders also disclosed that some Head Revisors (HRs) hired by the PET had advised the revisors of both parties to reconcile the disparity in the election returns and the physical count. "They were told (by Head Revisors) that they have to reconcile the figures that are different. This is highly irregular and disturbing because revisors are not supposed to reconcile the figures but to find out if the results in the ER match the physical count," an insider said.

The HRs also reportedly told the revisors not to include the number of undervotes and overvotes in the recount for no apparent reason. "This is unacceptable because all the entries in the ballots and ballot boxes with respect to the VP election protest should be reported and put on record," the insider said.

Undervotes occur when voters fail to vote for anyone in a position while undervotes happen when voters select more than the required number of candidates in any position.

Election experts from here and around the world agree that the acceptable rate of occurrence of undervotes (no vote) should just be one to three percent. But when the undervotes are more than 5 percent, they agree that it should cause alarm because it is highly suspicious.

When undervotes are 10 percent or more, they are one in saying that there is really an anomaly.

In the three pilot provinces of Marcos, high percentages of undervotes (more than 10 percent) were recorded especially in the far-flung coastal towns.

In some of his contested areas especially in Mindanao , undervotes reached as high as 90 percent.

Also, it was revealed in yesterday's proceedings that majority of ballot boxes from two towns in Camarines Sur had no voter's receipts.

According to an insider, revisors had already finished all the clustered precincts from the towns of Bula and Balatan and most of the ballots boxes from the two towns had missing voter's receipts.

Fifty three out of the 55 clustered precincts in Bula or 97 percent had no voter's receipts while 20 out of the 30 clustered precincts in Balatan or 68 percent had missing receipts.

This despite the fact, according to the insider, that all the Minutes of Voting (MoV) found inside the ballot boxes reflected that the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) had printed the receipts and deposited them in the boxes.

"So what happened to the receipts? How come in these two towns, most had no voters' receipts. This is highly suspicious," the insider said.

The insider further raised the suspicion that the voters' receipts may not tally with the results of the elections which is the reason they were not included in the ballot boxes.

"The MoVs in all the ballot boxes specifically stated that the receipts were included in the boxes. How come almost all of them don't have it? Is it because they will not match the votes cast?," the insider said.

Aside from Bula and Balatan, revisors had finished the revision of the towns of Baao, Bato and Sagnay. The towns of Buhi and Ocampo are currently being revised.

After two weeks of revision of more than 200 clustered precincts, the votes of Leni Robredo had been reduced by some 5,000 votes. Revisors are set to revise more than 5,800 clustered precincts from Marcos' pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental. He has to prove substantial recovery of votes before he is allowed to revise his other contested provinces and cities.

Another PET insider also revealed that wet ballots continue to be discovered on a daily basis.

Yesterday, the first ballot box taken from Ocampo yielded wet ballots and contents that smelled of chemicals.

"When we opened it, the smell was really overwhelming. It was like chemical was poured into it because the smell was intense," the insider said.

Insiders had revealed that almost all towns so far revised yielded wet ballots.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, counsel of Robredo, said it may have been due to a storm that hit Camarines Sur last December but lawyers of Marcos countered that the ballots should be dry by now as more than four months had already passed since the supposed storm drenched the ballot boxes and their contents.

The ballot boxes are made of plastic and were supposedly designed to be water and weather-proof.


  • Robredo's revisors claim pre-shaded ballots, Charlie V. Manalo, Aapril 19, 2018, The Daily Tribune

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