Rumors that the late dictator’s son Bongbong Marcos won the vice presidential seat over incumbent Leni Robredo circulated after the Supreme Court submitted a report on the results of the recount culminating a three-year process over his electorial protest.
Vocal supporters of the Marcoses also shared sketchy posts about it online in the latter part of September.
A certain Jesus Perpetuo Soguilon Daguno Jr. shared a graphic on September 19 that stated the supposed final results of the poll recount wherein Marcos got 15 million votes more than that of Robredo’s 11 million votes.
So far, Daguno’s post made rounds over 25,000 times on Facebook.
#Iyak na,may nanalo na.#Ang tunay nating VICE PRESIDENT BBM.
The Presidential Electoral Tribunal or PET has not yet made any decision nor released the official results from the vice presidential race last 2016, making the numbers on the post possibly fabricated.
The National Board of Canvassers also does not handle electoral cases. The upper and lower chambers of Congress convene as the board to officially evaluate the votes after the national elections.
The Supreme Court that sits as the PET “shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose,” according to Section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.
Following this post, another Marcos supporter Mark Lopez shared cryptic tweets that someone already won the electoral protest, referring to the former senator.
Here’s the thing – May nanalo na. It is now a matter of how to announce the decision.
Either way, the impact of such announcement will be a game changer in Philippine politics.
— Mark Lopez (@MacLen315) September 24, 2019
Lawyer Glenn Chong also shared a photo of Marcos during a campaign rally with the caption: “Ngayon pa lang gusto ko nang ipagsigawan ‘The Real Vice President.”
— Glenn Chong (@AttyGlennChong) September 24, 2019
Moreover, an opinion piece by long-time Philippine STAR columnist Federico Pascual Jr. also claimed that Marcos won against Robredo for the first round of the electoral protest without indicating the source.
It was published on the Manila-based newspaper on October 3.
“Our information is that ‘it’s 8-6 in favor of Marcos’– that is, with the PET putting aside its Rule 65 for an ‘initial determination’ test in three pilot provinces and allowing a continuation of the recount in the remaining 22 provinces and five highly urbanized cities protested by him,” Pascual said.
These speculations came when Supreme Court Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, the justice in-charge of the Marcos-Robredo recount case, submitted his report on the revision of ballots in Iloilo, Negros Oriental and Camarines Sur on September 9.
The results will determine if Marcos’ protest back in 2016 is valid or not.
Should there be a big discrepancy between the official 2016 tally and the ones from the three provinces, the PET would expand the coverage of the recount to 27 other provinces. These would cover 30,000 poll precincts.
However, being that PET has deferred its action on Caguioa’s report, there’s no certainty yet if the outcome is in favor of either party.
The 3-year-old electoral case
In 2016, Robredo won the second highest position in the land when she got 14,418,817 votes, which lead was a little over 260,000 votes over her defeated opponent’s 14,155,344 results.
This was considered the closest vice presidential race in recent years.
Claiming he was cheated on by the former administration Robredo was allied with, Marcos filed an electoral protest in June 2016 to contest this small gap.
In 2018, PET was caught in a dilemma after it invalidated at least 5,000 ballots for being shaded less than 50% of the oval next to the candidate’s name.
Former Comelec chair and election law expert Sixto Brilliantes Jr. stepped in and stressed that the 25% threshold of shading was considered during the manual edit of the presidential elections.
In 2019, Marcos supporters had been spreading false information that PET ruled in favor of him online.
Robredo, meanwhile, only hoped that the high court will make a favorable decision.
She also said that the outcome of this electoral process will determine the credibility of the 2016 national elections.
“Ito iyong electoral process na nagpanalo sa mga nakaupo na mga officials ngayon. So kapag hindi natin tiniwalaan iyong electoral process, parang sinasabi natin na iyong lahat na nakaupo ngayon, huwad,” she said.