Let evidence 'speak for itself,' Marcos camp tells Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr told Vice President Leni Robredo to let the evidence reveal the truth in the electoral protest he filed against her.

Marcos' lawyer and spokesperson Vic Rodriguez hit Robredo's camp for accusing them of "misleading" the Supreme Court (SC) by including "unregistered" voters in their list of proposed witnesses from Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao.

The names were required by the SC, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), so they could testify for Marcos' claim saying votes should be nullified in the 3 Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) provinces because of electoral fraud. 

On Thursday, November 23, Rodriguez slammed Robredo's lawyer Romulo Macalintal for calling them "liars" over the proposed witnesses.

"Attorney Romy Macalintal is at it again. This time, he's calling us liars. According to Macalintal, we lied because the names on our witness list were not registered voters. If truth be told, the names on our witness list were the members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) who were actually on duty on election day," said Rodriguez.

He echoed a similar statement earlier given to Rappler by George Garcia, another lawyer of Marcos. 

Rodriguez said the BEIs "were named as witnesses – and not as registered voters" in the list they gave to the PET. 

"Since the BEI members were physically present when the alleged 'voting' took place, they would be able to testify on whether the contested ballots had been pre-shaded or if an honest-to-goodness 'election' actually took place in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao," said Rodriguez.

"We should allow the evidence to speak for itself. If and when that happens, the public can decide who the real liar is," he added.  

Rodriguez also said this is why they want the PET to allow a technical and forensic examination of all election data in the 3 provinces. The PET has deferred action on this matter.  

"All one has to do is to compare the signatures of the registered voters with the 'signatures' of the actual voters to realize that something fishy happened during the May 2016 elections. Now we know why BBM got zero votes in the Iglesia ni Cristo bailiwicks," he said.  

Battle of the evidence

In his statement on Thursday, Rodriguez included scanned copies of parts of the Election Day Computerized Voters' Lists in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao. 

The lawyer said the documents "show apparent discrepancies in the voting, particularly the signatures of the registered voters and those who actually voted on election day."

None of the names listed under Basilan, however, matched any of the names in the certified list of registered voters cited by the Robredo camp in pages 5 to 65 of their latest manifestation filed before the PET.

A separate study by Rappler of the election fingerprints for the 3 ARMM provinces showed there were inconsistent vote shares and voter turnouts. But not all towns and cities in these provinces show a pattern that points to possible cheating. 

The PET has yet to issue a decision on the proposed witnesses of Marcos, who is accusing Robredo and the Liberal Party (LP) of manipulating the 2016 vice presidential polls. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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