Robredo camp charges publicity stunt by Marcos in Iloilo

Published June 7, 2018, 4:37 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Raymund Antonio

The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday downplayed as another publicity stunt the claim of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that anomalies were found on the ballots from Iloilo.

Marcos’ lawyer and spokesman Vic Rodriguez said it was “deeply disturbing” the recent discovery of the alleged irregularities involving the ballots from one of the three pilot provinces for the recount.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (left) and Vice President Leni Robredo (MANILA BULLETIN)
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (left) and Vice President Leni Robredo

He particularly cited the ballots were found wet and placed inside plastic containers commonly used as household storage devices or picnic containers.

But Robredo’s co-counsel Ma. Bernadette Sardillo called out Marcos camp for again spreading false claims about the ongoing recount in his electoral protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

The lady lawyer said Rodriguez should read reports from the ground and refrain from issuing statements for publicity stunt.

“We gently remind our counterpart to read the reports from the ground as it would explain the so-called anomalies that he announced to the media,” said Sardillo.

Iloilo is one of the three pilot provinces identified by Marcos in his election protest. The other two are Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental.

The Vice President defeated Marcos in Iloilo after she garnered 573,829 votes over her rival’s 94,411 votes in the 2016 automated elections.

Sardillo reacted to Rodriguez’ claim about the wet ballots and those found inside plastic containers given last year’s report from a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official in Miagao town.

A report by Election Officer Jessie Borro Jr. to Iloilo Provincial Election Supervisor Elizabeth Doronila showed that the ballot boxes and their contents were damaged by rainwater leaking through a hole in the roof of their storage facility.

Ballot boxes from the municipality of Oton were also reportedly drenched by rain during the retrieval by PET last May 21. The tribunal was able to retrieve 2,263 ballot boxes until May 25.

Robredo’s legal consultant Emil Marañon III earlier said these incidents in Iloilo were caused by “acts of God.”

Robredo’s legal team has been closely monitoring the retrieval process.

“We also don’t want the public to be misled because, in our experience with Camarines Sur, the camp of Marcos used the damaged and wet ballots in their PR (public relations) stunt,” Marañon said.