The retrieval by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal at the Supreme Court of some of 1,284 ballot boxes from different municipalities and cities in Negros Oriental particularly for the 2016 vice presidential race could possibly spell out the truth whether or not there was cheating in the Leni Robredo-Bongbong Marcos race. This is because Negros Oriental count is chosen as among the top three determinants since the Marcos alleged disparity in results in Negros Oriental.
COMELEC Records will show that in Negros Oriental, then vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos lost heavily to Vice President Leni Robredo who garnered 255,000 votes as against the 66,000 votes of Marcos, the biggest difference in terms of percentage throughout the country. Marcos lost by over 200,000 votes and the biggest difference came from Negros Oriental count.
Dumaguete City Election Officer Atty Gildu Agoncillo disclosed that Negros Oriental is among the top three among 20-protested provinces by a losing candidate for vice president in the 2016 elections.
Recount of ballot boxes from 17 other provinces will depend on the results of the recount of the pilot provinces.
In the event of a dismissal of the complaint, there is no need to proceed with the recount of protested ballot boxes from the 17 provinces, according to Atty. Emil Maranon, legal counsel of vice president Robredo who was in Dumaguete to observe the retrieval operation over the weekend until yesterday.
According to Maranon, a recount of the protested ballot boxes in Camarines Sur was completed, ongoing in Iloilo to be followed by a recount of the protested ballot boxes from Negros Oriental, where Marcos has alleged about widespread cheating and fraud during the 2016 elections.
Since 2Go shipping is the official carrier, the 1,284 ballot boxes from Negros Oriental will be loaded as soon the inter-island vessels arrive next week. It will be picked up at the port and will be brought to the Supreme Court warehouse in Ermita, Manila for safeguarding.
VP Robredo’s counsel is confident that the results of the recount will match with the results on election day up to the last vote, provided the correct threshold is being used.
Maranon noted that results in electoral protests in previous elections in 2010, 2013, and even 2016 would show no discrepancy between the results of the recount and the results on election day because the machine is accurate.
When interviewed in Dumaguete yesterday, the legal counsel said discrepancies were noted in Camarines Sur because the Supreme Court applied a different standard. He said the high court should follow the threshold set by the Comelec.
VP Robredo’s camp is confident the recount will prove that Negrenses “ay hindi mandaraya because this is what Marcos is trying to say.”
Dumaguete City treasurer Cristina Merced was on hand during the retrieval of the 122 ballot boxes from Dumaguete, even as some minor issues were noted on the conditions of the boxes.Robredo’s camp filed a formal motion before the Supreme Court regarding what happened on the first and second day of the retrieval operation of the ballot boxes in Negros Oriental to be transparent with the things that transpired during the transport and storage of the ballot boxes.