Robredo lawyer urges PET, Comelec to probe Marcos’ ‘ridiculous’ claim of ‘square’ ballot images

January 30, 2018 - 1:38 PM
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Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal (photo by JV Arcena, News5)

MANILA, Philippines — The election lawyer of Vice President Leni Robredo said the Commission on Elections and Presidential Electoral Tribunal should investigate former Senator Ferdinand Marcos’ claim that he is in possession of “hundreds upon hundreds” of supposedly irregular ballot images in his electoral protest.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal’s challenge came a day after Marcos, who lost to Robredo in 2016, showed what he claimed was “evidence” of electoral fraud in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

In his own press conference Tuesday, Macalintal belittled Marcos’ assertion, noting that “with only five ballot images at hand, they immediately concluded that ‘massive fraud’ marred the said election.”

“What is highly incredible is Marcos’ claim that they have ‘hundreds upon hundreds of decrypted ballot images in Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental’ showing that the ballots have ‘square shapes’ and the ‘ovals’ which the voters shaded are ‘gone’.”

Macalintal also said should an investigation by the PET and Comelec show different results, Marcos would have to explain his claim of “solid and incontrovertible evidence of massive fraud that transpired in the 2016 elections.”

Should this happen, he challenged Marcos’ lawyers to hand in their licenses as well.

He described Marcos’ claim as a ploy to condition the public to believe that electoral fraud had, indeed, occurred and accused the former senator of seeking to preempt a recount expected to begin next month.

He also predicted that Marcos’ protest would end up being junked for being “weak” and lacking in evidence, which is why the former senator was allegedly using evidence not included in his protest to gain media mileage as well as to “fish” for proof.

Macalintal also denied Marcos’ claims that Robredo’s camp had received copies of ballot images before he did or that they had a pending motion before the PET that was delaying the start of the recount.

At the same time, he challenged Marcos to withdraw all his pending motions, claiming these were what was delaying the recount.