By Raymund Antonio
The camp of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ditched former Biliran representative and lawyer Glenn Chong, who has been alleging electoral fraud in the 2016 vice presidential elections.
Marcos, through his lawyer George Garcia, filed before the Supreme Court his client’s comment on the issue of how audit logs from Ragay town, Camarines Sur were leaked and went to the possession of Chong.
Garcia told the SC, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, that Chong is not part of Marcos’ legal team and has no participation in the ongoing ballot revision for his election protest.
Marcos’ legal counsel said that Chong’s participation is “strictly limited” to merely observing the revision proceedings. “He (Chong) was never given any authority to represent and/or speak for and on behalf of protestant Marcos,” said Garcia.
Last September, Vice President Leni Robredo asked the PET to investigate how Chong was able to access audit logs from Ragay, Camarines Sur.
Camarines Sur is one of three pilot provinces selected by Marcos for the vote recount in his election protest against Robredo. The others are Negros Oriental and Iloilo.
Robredo’s lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Maria Bernadette Sardillo filed with the SC a 35-page manifestation of grave concern with urgent motion to look into the matter. The lawyers cited that during a Senate hearing last July 31 on the alleged poll fraud in 2016, Chong presented the audit logs, which he also shared the same documents on his Facebook page.
“Given the data and documents in the possession of Atty. Chong who claims that he is not a lawyer of, representative, or in any way connected to protestant Marcos, there is a need for the conduct of an investigation,” they said.
Macalintal and Sardillo said it was “disturbing” for Chong, who claimed he has no connection to the parties in the election case, has been able to get copies of the audit logs.
But the Marcos camp denied they provided Chong the copies of audit logs, decrypted ballot images, and other documents related to the election protest.
“Atty. Chong should clarify where he obtained the said documents supposedly posted on his Facebook page as well as those which he allegedly utilized as part of his testimony before the Senate hearings,” Garcia said.
“Protestant Marcos is incompetent to comment on the other contentions of the protestee against Atty. Chong because he has no personal knowledge thereof. These matters should be addressed directly to Atty. Chong,” he added.