Comelec, PET should probe Marcos’ claim of questionable ballot images – Robredo lawyer

admin   •   January 31, 2018   •   4098

MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Bongbong Marcos’ claim of a massive cheating in the 2016 elections is highly ridiculous, said the legal counsel of Vice President Leni Robredo.

On Monday, Marcos presented ballot images which allegedly prove that he was cheated by Robredo and the Liberal Party.

He claims that the ballot showed votes in his favor were not counted while even spoiled ballots for Robredo were counted.

But Atty. Romulo Macalintal said that Marcos’ camp is only diverting the issue which indicates the weakness of his election protest.

Kahit isang ballot box lang mabuksan sa Camarines Sur, I can already make a declaration that no election cheating, no fraud was committed that benefited the Vice President of the Philippines,” said Macalintal.

(Open just a single ballot box in Camarines Sur, and I can already make a declaration that no election cheating, no fraud was committed that benefited the vice president of the Philippines.)

He said the best that Marcos can do is compare the ballots in his possession with that of the Comelec’s or the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

He added that this should be investigated if indeed there were anomalies in the ballots.

“Kung talagang mayroong pagbabago, dapat sigurong imbestigahan ‘yan. At kung walang pagbabago, ay bahala namang gumawa ng kaukulang parusa ang Comelec o ang PET laban kay Mr. Marcos o kung sinoman ang gumawa ng ganung uri ng ballot images,” said the legal counsel.

(If there are changes, then I think it should be investigated. And if there is none, let Comelec or the PET impose the necessary punishment against Mr. Marcos or whomever those type of ballots came from.)

But a lawyer for Marcos said that the ballot images came from the PET itself and these are concrete evidence of election fraud.

“These are picture images. Meaning, mirror image supposedly of the actual ballot. Why is there a square in the picture image and the ovals disappeared,” said Atty. Vic Rodriguez, legal counsel of Marcos.

“Ang usapin dito, bakit kapag may kwadrado sa pangalan ni Mrs. Robredo. Kahit overvote, dalawa, tatlo ang ibinotong vice president, hindi po nagiging spoiled ang balota bagkus binibilang para kay Mrs. Robredo. Bakit po pagka ang shading ay tama, subalit ang binoto ay si Bongbong Marcos na walang kwadrado sa tabi ng pangalan napupunta po ito sa undervote? ‘Yan po ay malaking hiwaga na kami rin ay hindi namin masagot,” he said.

(The issue here is, why is it that if there is a square before the name of Mrs. Robredo. Even there’s an overvote, two or three vice presidents were voted upon, the ballot is not considered spoiled and instead of being counted in favor of Mrs. Robredo. Why is it that even when the shading is correct, but the vote is for Bongbong Marcos and there is no square before his name, it becomes an undervote? That’s the big mystery that even us don’t know the answer.)

Nonetheless, Marcos’ camp will just let the Comelec probe the issue because for now, they are more concerned about the start of the manual recount. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Voter registration resumes Jan. 20, except in Taal-hit areas — Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday announced that the voter registration for the 2022 presidential elections will resume nationwide on Monday, January 20, except in some areas in Batangas and Cavite that were affected by the ongoing eruption of Taal Volcano.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said voter registration in municipalities and towns of Batangas located within the immediate danger zone and other areas surrounding the Taal Volcano will be suspended.

These places include:

  • Agoncillo
  • Alitagtag
  • Balete
  • Laurel
  • Lemery
  • Mataas na Kahoy
  • San Nicolas
  • San Teresita
  • Taal
  • Talisay

Voter registration will also be suspended in the following localities outside Taal zone but still affected by ashfall, earthquakes, impassable roads and power interruptions:

  • Balayan, Batangas
  • Cuenca, Batangas
  • Lian, Batangas
  • Mabini, Batangas
  • Mabini, Batangas
  • San Luis, Batangas
  • Tuy, Batangas
  • Tagaytay, Cavite
  • Alfonso, Cavite
  • Amadeo, Cavite
  • Indang, Cavite
  • Silang, Cavite

Jimenez said the resumption of the voter registration in areas affected by Taal Volcano unrest will be “contingent on the ability of those places to recover and return to normalcy.”

Taal Volcano remains under alert level 4, which signifies an imminent hazardous explosion, despite decreasing emissions. The volcano belched ash and smoke last Sunday, January 12, which sent thousands of residents scrambling to safety.

Aside from these areas, Comelec said the resumption of voter registration will also be deferred in Makilala, North Cotabato which was hit by a strong earthquake last December 2019.

Registration is also postponed in 24 municipalities in Palawan province to give way to the May 11, 2020 plebiscite on the proposal to split the province into three areas.

As for the rest of the country, the poll body said the application and updating of records will be done at the Office of the Election Officer from Mondays to Saturdays including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before election day or on May 9, 2022; a resident of the Philippines for at least one year; and must have lived in the place where he or she intends to vote for at least six months on or before election day.

The registration period will run until September 30, 2021, except on the following dates:

  • April 9, 2020 (Maundy Thursday)
  • April 10, 2020 (Good Friday)
  • December 25, 2020 (Christmas Day)
  • April 1, 2021 (Maundy Thursday)
  • April 2, 2021 (Good Friday)

Comelec also said that registered voters as of May 13, 2019 midterm elections need not apply anew.

PNP reiterates drug war successful, Robredo’s figures ‘totally wrong’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 7, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) reiterated that the government’s war on drugs is a success, contrary to the figures reported by Vice President Leni Robredo.

PNP Officer-in-Charge Archie Gamboa said the campaign against illegal drugs was one hundred percent successful; this was after Robredo called the drug war unsuccessful during her report on Monday (January 6).

“Whether her numbers are merely an estimate or the exact value, in any case, the figure derived is totally wrong,” Gamboa said.

Gamboa also said that since 2016, they already destroyed 14 clandestine drug laboratories and 419 drugs dens.

The PNP had also confiscated around P40.39 billion worth of illegal drugs. These include 5.1 tons of shabu, 2.3 tons of marijuana, 500 kilos of cocaine, and over 42,000 pieces of the party drug, ecstasy.

Authorities have also arrested 220,728 individuals in 2016, with 8,185 high value targets.

Gamboa also reported that 5,552 drug personalities and 55 policemen were killed during illegal drug operations. Meanwhile, a total of 16,706 barangays are drug-free.

Gamboa said Robredo’s appreciation of statistics in her report was not mathematically acceptable. He also said that her 18 days as the co-chairman in the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) was not enough for her to provide estimates of the totality of the illegal drug campaign.

“Ang ginawa niya kin-quote niya iyong PDEG (What she did was, she quoted the PDEG) [Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group] that there are three tons of consumption per week for the drug problem of the Philippines and then in-equate niya ito sa drug recovered (then she equated it with the drugs recovered),” he said.

“Iyong appreciation niya doon sa statistics na iyon is wrong. Kung ganiyan ang appreciation niya (Her appreciation of the statistics is wrong. If that is her appreciation) it’s quite risky because if you have little knowledge that you present it could be very risky,” Gamboa added.

Meanwhile, the PNP official said despite the success of the government’s drug war, regional directors and head of national support units are doubling their efforts in the government’s war on drugs, terrorism, criminality, and corruption.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Palace on VP Robredo’s anti-drug report: ‘Nothing new’

Marje Pelayo   •   January 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo criticized Vice President Leni Robredo’s revelations of what she claimed as her discovery during her short stint as the anti-drug czar.

In response to her press briefing Monday (January 6), the Palace said it was Robredo who failed as the co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), and not the Duterte Administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“Palagay ko ang failure ay ang pag-upo niya (I think the real failure is when she took the post),” Panelo said.

Robredo spent only 18 days in the ICAD before President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed her from the position due to a lack of trust.

As for the figures that the Vice President divulged before the press, the Palace official said they were wrong and all anti-drug law enforcement agencies could attest to that.

Panelo argued that in comparison to Robredo, the President has unlimited resources when it comes to the government’s war on drugs as compare to her who knows nothing about the campaign.

“I think she just wants to be relevant,” Panelo said.

“It’s a dud. Wala naman siyang sinabing bago na hindi tinututukan ng mga ahensya na involved sa laban droga (There was nothing new with what she said that anti-drugs agencies didn’t address. There’s nothing new in what she said),” Panelo concluded. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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