Are wet ballots “common” in election protests?

ballot box designReacting to the claims made by former Senator Bongbong Marcos that the discovery of wet ballots in the ballot boxes from four clustered precincts in Bato town in Camarines Sur were strong indications of tampering and cheating, Atty. Romeo Macalintal, lawyer for Vice President Leni Robredo, said such occurrences are “common” in election protests.

But how common is common?

Perhaps Atty. Macalintal forgot that the ballot boxes used in the automated elections are different in design from those used when the casting of votes was still done manually. The new ballot boxes are designed for maximum security, even for protecting ballots from sunlight, which could affect ultra violet markings that are part of the security features.

These ballot boxes are not susceptible to being penetrated by water as in a heavy rain. Besides, these ballot boxes are supposed to be stored in covered areas with adequate security measures. Comelec recognizes the importance of these ballot boxes and their contents in electoral protests, which is what is now before the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

Atty. Macalintal is trying to confuse the public and shield his client from damnation from Filipinos who are now presented with strong proof that there was cheating to make the victory of Robredo possible. Data manipulation in the transmission of results is what is believed to have caused Marcos to lose to Robredo by a hairline margin of 263.473 votes.

This scenario has gained credibility as early as right after the proclamation of Robredo because of the almost miraculous turn-around in the counting in the morning of May 10, 2016. The night before, just hours after voting precincts across the country closed and started transmission of results, Marcos lead by as much as 900,000 votes over Robredo. It was a trend. But the canvassing was stopped before midnight. When the canvassing resumed the next morning, Robredo suddenly bounced back with an initial 8,000 lead. This grew to 263,473.

Hence, the public should reject the lame excuse of Atty. Macalintal that the ballot boxes were deluged by heavy rains during  a typhoon in Camarines Sur. The dousing of water into ballot boxes was a common tactic when the voting was still done manually. But with the advent of PCOS, such cheating tactic was rendered inutile because there was no way to stop the transmission of votes. This time, the soaking of the ballots was done to render the ballots useless, because the damage made it impossible to read.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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