MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo refuted the claim of defeated vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr that cheating was done in the 2016 elections using supposedly unused vote-counting machines (VCMs).
"Kaya nga unused, kasi hindi nagamit (That's why it's unused because it was not used)," Robredo said in a news conference in Naga City on Friday, January 20.
"Kahit hindi naman abogado, maiintindihan iyon (Even non-lawyers will understand that)," she said.
Robredo issued this comment after the Marcos camp insinuated "massive fraud" in the 2016 elections because 13 secure digital (SD) memory cards in unused VCMs had been found to contain data.
Marcos is protesting Robredo's victory through a case filed before the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Reacting to Marcos' claims, veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, who represents Robredo, dared Marcos to drop his election protest against Robredo if he fails to prove that SD cards had been used in poll fraud.
Robredo explained on Friday that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was returning the unused SD cards to technology provider Smartmatic. She said the Supreme Court allowed the Comelec to do this.
"After na magbigay ng ganoong order ni Supreme Court, ito na iyong sinasabi ni Bongbong Marcos na iyong…mga isasauli na SD cards ng Comelec na unused, nandoon daw ang proof ng pandaraya. Obviously hindi iyon totoo," the Vice President said.
(After the Supreme Court issued that order, Bongbong Marcos is saying that the SD cards that the Comelec was returning, showed proof of cheating. Obviously that is not true.) – Rappler.com