Marcos camp gathering evidence of poll fraud

MANILA – The lawyer of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. yesterday confirmed plans to push through with an electoral protest over the vice presidential race, saying his client was deprived of nearly four million votes through cheating and malfunctioning vote-counting machines.

Marcos lost to administration candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, who had a 263,473-vote edge over him.

“We will definitely file an election protest,” lawyer George Garcia said in a text message on Saturday.
He said the Marcos camp was in the process of collating the affidavits of witnesses of alleged incidents of cheating, as well as details on the malfunctioning of several canvassing and consolidation system servers and vote-counting machines.

Garcia said the protest would be filed in about a month.

Among the issues to be brought up by the Marcos camp are the nearly four million undervotes for the post of vice president, Marcos’ receipt of zero votes in certain areas, and the malfunctioning of some vote-counting machines.

Garcia said the Marcos camp also plans to include more grounds, which would be detailed when they file the protest.

Marcos had been asking the Commission on Elections for an audit of the automated election system, following the alteration of the script in the poll body’s transparency server.

In the meantime, Marcos’ political career would have to be put on hold.

When his senatorial term expires on June 30, he would return to being a private citizen.

Marcos would have been eligible to run for a second six-year term in the Senate in this year’s polls, but he opted to seek the vice presidency.

Analysts believe the Marcos family had targeted the vice presidency as the springboard to a presidential run by the now 58-year-old scion in 2022.

“I think this election was arguably the best and probably last chance for the Marcoses to wrest back control of Malacañang,” Manila-based analyst Richard Javad Heydarian told Agence France-Presse.

“It (the loss) would make it that much harder for the Marcoses to regain power through elections,” Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Economic and Political Reforms in Manila, told AFP.

Barring a reversal of the May 9 results, Marcos would have to wait for the 2019 midterm elections to try and regain his Senate seat, Casiple said.

Unlike five of his colleagues who ran for president or vice president in the elections, he has no Senate seat to return to.