Citing irregularities in the Commission on Elections’ quick count, Vice-president Leni Robredo refused to concede to apparent winner Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who established what appeared to be an insurmountable lead in their presidential race.
The other candidates for president – Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and Senators Manny Pacquiao and Ping Lacson, as well as Labor leader Leody de Guzman – conceded about 24 hours after the polls closed at 7:00pm May 9.
Marcos declared himself victor of the race, and named his running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio, also apparently elected as vice-president, as Education secretary on May 11, making the Davao City mayor his first Cabinet appointee.
Robredo and her running mate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan cited what many are calling obvious irregularities in the unofficial quick count of the Comelec.
For one, more than 50 percent of the votes had been tabulated and released to the public a mere two hours after the polling places closed. Observers noted that this was much faster than the US, where results filter in many hours after voting ends.
Robredo, however, told her followers to respect the final results after all votes have been canvassed.
Her followers, however, were quick to point out the mathematical improbability of the Comelec’s early figures, which showed that voting trends from various precincts all showed a straight line in a graph.
This is not possible since returns should show that figures from various precincts cannot be uniform.
Statisticians say that this is only possible if figures have been embedded in computer servers beforehand.
Also, there were numerous reports from various provinces where voting was still ongoing – voters who were inside precincts after 7pm were still allowed to vote, especially after numerous cases of voting machines conking out were reported to the poll body as well as media – yet their figures were already released by Comelec headquarters in Manila.
As a result of the suspected cheating, hundreds of mostly young men and women trooped to the Comelec HQ where they held a sit-down rally.
Also, three of the country’s top universities – the University of the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila University, and the University of Santo Tomas – declared an “academic walkout” where students refused to attend classes with the implied support of university officials.
The most disturbing proof that some form of cheating had occurred was all over social media, where a screen shot from GMA News showed what has been called the “68-32 magic” showing the improbable trend taking place over a five-hour period.
Mathematicians say that an equation becomes linear when two variables are consistent, and the only way two variables become consistent is when the results are pre-programmed.
The Comelec, however, said there was nothing wrong in the early figures.
The poll body was slammed for not saying where the initial figures came from. Further, the Comelec itself said that counting would begin on May 10, yet the early figures were released on the evening of May 9.
There were other reasons cited by the Robredo camp for her refusal to concede.
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-profit organization affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines has been conducting a manual audit of election returns.
The PPCRV took the place of the National Movement for Free Elections, or Namfrel, which conducted parallel counts with the Comelec in the past.
Reports from the PPCRV headquarters said Comelec data does not tally with PPCRV data, with Robredo actually ahead of Marcos by a slight margin.
It can be recalled that Marcos Jr. and Robredo battled for the vic
e-presidency in 2016, with the latter emerging victorious with a winning margin of below 300,000 votes.
Marcos Jr. insisted he was cheated and took his case to the Supreme Court, acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal. The body called for a recount, and Robredo still came out with more votes than Marcos Jr.
It was only last year when the SC ruled with finality that Robredo was the legally-elected vice president of the Philippines.