1/4 shading for Leni is cheating, period.

How difficult is it to shade a small oval to indicate a voter’s choice among candidates for a political position? Well, with the use of a marking pen, it doesn’t take one second to fully shade the blank space inside the oval. It would be more difficult keeping the shading from spilling out of the oval itself. Hence, it is hard to imagine how a voter, even the old who might have difficulty holding the marking pen, could possibly shade only 1/4 of the oval.

ballot shading

That’s especially when we consider that the candidate is a local bet aspiring to be Vice President of the Republic. If the voters, thousands of them in Camarines Sur in this case, really rooted for Leni Robredo, they would have taken extra care in shading the oval just to make sure their votes are properly credited to her.

It must also be recalled that for months before the elections, the Comelec and media organizations, especially TV, aired voter education activities, and much airtime was spent showing voters how to properly shade the oval. Nothing was left to chance, and shading the oval just 1/4 of the space simply cannot be justified.

This is the reason the efforts of Leni to get the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to accept her argument that 25% shading of the oval is sanctioned by Comelec. With the small size of the oval, 1/4 is more like a dot using the marking pen. It is not the kind of shading a voter would make to express his or her vote. It is more consistent with haste and rush to mark hundreds, if not thousands of ballots, by one individual.

What this indicates is fraud, especially because it involves thousands of ballots found with only 25% shading. It unmasks the gigantic cheating to add votes for Leni and enable her to catch up with her rival, Senator Bongbong Marcos, who had led by 1.9 million votes going into the third day of the national canvass in May 2016. As experience has shown time and again, a trend is established early in the first six hours of an electronic canvass, and never is reversed in the way Robredo squeaked past Marcos.

Robredo’s lie exposed: There is no Comelec resolution allowing 25% shading

Where on earth did Leni Robredo get the idea that 25% shading of the oval constitutes a valid vote?

Robredo, through her lawyers, appealed to the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, to reconsider its ruling to annul votes counted for her if the shading on the oval across her name failed to meet the 50% threshold, which was set by Comelec itself for the May 10, 2010 elections through Resolution No. 8804 promulgated on March 22, 2010.

Did the Comelec ever entertain the idea of partial shading below 50%? In Resolution No. 10113 promulgated on May 3, 2016, the Comelec stated expressly that: “The intent of the voters is expressing by fully shading the oval beside the name of the candidate. This is consistent with the instruction provided on the face of the ballot on how to vote.” The photo below shows particular section on the appreciation of ballots:

 

Comelec Resolution Shading Ballots

There is no Comelec Resolution or guideline allowing 25% shading as valid vote. This is what Comelec Resolution No. 10113 promulgated on May 3, 2016 states.

The PET rightly turned down the motion of Robredo to reduce the threshold of the shading to 25%. An estimated 5,000 votes in favor of Robredo have been nullified during the first two weeks of the manual recount as a result of the PET’s ruling that the threshold level should be 50% as stipulated in Resolution No. 8804 dated March 22, 2010 (See RULE 15, Section 6, paragraph “l” shown below).

Screenshot 2018-04-19 14.36.44

Robredo’s lawyer anchor their claim that Comelec allowed a 25% threshold of shading in Minute Resolution No. 16-600 adopted by the Comelec En Banc on September 6, 2016, or four months after the conduct of the elections. What does this resolution say? This resolution was adopted AFTER Senator Bongbong Marcos had already filed his Electoral Protest at this time based on massive cheating. What it did was “adopt and confirm” the memorandum dated September 6, 2016 — submitted on the same day — by Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia, Oversight Commissioner for the Random Manual Audit. It had no force of law.

Letter to PET

And it’s worthwhile examining this memorandum of Commissioner Guia submitted on September 6, 2016, and subsequently adopted and confirmed by the Commission En Banc. Commissioner Guia acknowledged that Comelec guidelines require that voters shade the oval FULLY, but added that the system was designed to read oval shading of “about 25%” as a valid vote. What is the basis of this? It was Smartmatic that did this without authority from the Comelec on Guia’s flimsy excuse that this guaranteed the right to suffrage of voters is not impaired.

Question: Can Smartmatic override the law? Apparently no, which is the reason why the Supreme Court rejected Robredo’s motion to reconsider those votes that were nullified for failure to meet the 50% threshold.

Now these documents deserve deeper investigation. Was this part of the grand cheating scheme of the Liberal Party as carried out by then Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista? For me, it is. We have to keep in mind the elections were over and done, and all that remained to be done was a manual recount of the ballots. Bautista changed the rules of the game after the final horn had sounded, obviously to make sure insufficiently shaded ballots for Robredo would be counted in her favor.