Comelec, Marcos asked to comment on shading issue raised by Leni

The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, on Tuesday directed the Commission on Elections and former Senator Bongbong Marcos to file their comments on the motion for reconsideration made by Vice President Leni Robredo on its ruling to nullify votes counted in her favor that fell below the 50% threshold for shading set in 2010.

This directive is part of the due process that the PET needs to observe before it makes a final ruling on the issue.

Leni has complained that her votes were being “systematically decreased” in the manual recount as the revisors found thousands of ballots that were only shaded 25% in the oval across her name. From the tone of her petition to the PET, it would sound as if her survival in the game depended on the tribunal’s agreeing to her position.

There is no way the PET will grant her petition. First, this shady rule about 25% being acceptable for a vote to be credited to her was never announced before the elections. So much television airtime and newspaper space, not to mention the on-the-ground instructional sessions, were used up to educate voters that for a vote to be counted, the oval should be FULLY shaded. But then, the Comelec still issued guidelines in 2010 that in a manual recount, ovals shaded 50% would still be counted. Nothing has come out from Comelec changing that before May 9, 2016.

How come it’s only Leni who is using this line of reasoning? Does it mean that Bongbong Marcos didn’t encounter such kind of shading for votes cast in his favor? If you ask me, this minute resolution adopted by the Comelec in September 2016 — a good four months after the elections — was not even a policy resolution. It merely adopted the memorandum sent by its oversight commissioner to the PET. It doesn’t carry the force of law.

Second, the PET should investigate these ballots with 25% shading. One-fourth of the oval is not shading. It’s a mere blot done hurriedly. This could be another evidence of the massive cheating that took place, an assembly-line act to hurriedly deliver more votes for Robredo as the cheating machinery rushed to catch up with Marcos and eventually overtake him for the fraudulent victory.

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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