Leni defends Comelec position on ballot shading

Published July 30, 2018, 4:02 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Raymund Antonio

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) affirming the 25 percent ballot shading threshold it used in counting votes in the 2016 elections upheld the “clear intent” of the voter, according to Vice President Leni Robredo.

In her weekly radio show, “BISErbisyong Leni,” Robredo commented again on the Comelec’s position on the 25 percent ballot shading rule for the vice presidential vote recount.

Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Vice President Leni Robredo

“Noong nakaraang 2016 na elections ang ginamit namin na pamantayan at least 25 percent noong bilog, ay ma-shade. Parang ineexplain niya na kaya ginawa namin iyon dahil ayaw namin na madisenfranchise ang mga botante (In the previous 2016 elections, the standard used was to shade the ovals at least 25 percent. The Comelec explained the threshold was made because we did not want to disenfranchise the voters),” she said.

The Vice President also stressed the poll body did not want the machines to count unintended markings or smudged ink, so they have determined that 25 percent would be enough to show the intent of the voter.

“Ang parating sinasabi sa atin, punuin niyo ang bilog—di ba kapag nagshe-shade tayo. Pero marami talagang mga tao ang hindi nakakacomply doon Parang ang sinasabi niya basta klaro iyong intent, klaro iyong ano ba ang intensyon ng botante (We were always told by the Comelec to fill the ovals when shading, but there are really many people who failed to comply. The 25 percent shows the clear intent, what’s really the intention of the voter),” she added.

Just like her lawyer, Robredo disputed the claim of ex-senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that she perpetrated a “conspiracy” with the poll body on the ballot shading threshold.

The Vice President specifically addressed the allegation of Marcos that the 25 percent threshold was only lowered in September 2016, months after the conduct of the 2016 polls in favor of her.

The Comelec had issued a resolution on the same period that set the ballot shading threshold at 25 percent for the 2016 elections.

But Robredo said the media had already reported the application of the ballot threshold three months before the polls were held.

“Ang sinasabi lang naman natin, ano ba iyong ginamit na pamantayan noong eleksyon? Kasi kung ano ang ginamit na pamantayan noong eleksyon, dapat iyon ang kilalanin. Kasi hindi naman puwede na parang magbago ang rules in the middle of the game (What we are saying the standard used in the elections should be recognized because we can’t change the rules in the middle of the game),” she said.