MANILA — Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. will continue his bid for the nation’s second highest post despite official canvassing results showing Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo as winner of the 2016 vice-presidential race.
“As far as the senator is concerned, the fight isn’t over,” Marcos’ campaign adviser Abakada party list representative Jonathan dela Cruz said Saturday during a forum in Metro Manila.
Official canvassing results showed a neck-to-neck 2016vice-presidential race with Marcos garnering 14.16 million votes against Robredo’s 14.41 million votes.
Dela Cruz reiterated the Marcos camp’s call for a systems audit to help settle issues this group raised regarding the May 9 polls.
Among such issues is undervoting in the vice-presidential race, dela Cruz said.
He raised the possibility that undervotes are actually unread votes cast then.
“We believe some 80 percent of the unread votes were for Sen. Marcos,” he said.
Citing its own quick count before official canvassing commenced, Marcos’ camp reported undervoting of over 3.3 million votes.
Marcos described such undervoting as “unusual and a cause for concern.”
Dela Cruz also cited low voter turnout in some areas perceived as Marcos’ bailwicks.
Only 1.1 million of Pangasinan’s 1.6 million registered voters voted, dela Cruz noted.
“Problems are increasingly surfacing so we’re searching for the truth,” he said.
Marcos’ camp previously questioned the script change Commission on Elections (Comelec) technology provider Smartmatic did amidst the unofficial quick count of government-accredited poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting.
Smartmatic described such change as merely cosmetic and without impact on vote-counting.
Marcos’ camp believes otherwise, however.
“As far as we and our experts are concerned, it affected the system,” said dela Cruz.
He said government must hold Smartmatic and Comelec accountable for what happened.
Government must perpetually disqualify Smartmatic for such irregularity and other technology-related problems hounding previous elections involving this company, he continued.
In a statement earlier this week, dela Cruz lamented Comelec’s decision regarding Marcos’ request for a systems audit.
“It’s very unfortunate that Comelec decided to defer action on the request of Sen. Marcos for a systems audit of the transparency and central servers until after canvassing is concluded,” dela Cruz said.
Dela Cruz noted the system’s vulnerability “is shown inelectronically generated certificates of canvass in thevice-presidential race in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao provinces, Laguna, Ilocos Sur and Cebu City.
He noted systems audit won’t take more than a week since there’s a log that’ll help determine where votes came from. PNA/northboundasia.com