‘Consistent 47 percent?’: Comelec answers questioned margin of votes between Marcos, Robredo

Published May 10, 2022, 2:33 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) insisted Tuesday, May 10, that the elections have been fair as it quashed allegations that the “consistent” margin of votes between leading presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, was “pre-programmed.”

Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo answers queries from the media during a press conference at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on May 10, 2022.

Hours after the results of the elections from the Comelec’s transparency server were released publicly on Monday night, some netizens pointed out that Robredo’s votes allegedly represented 47 percent of Marcos’ votes in a consistent basis.

But Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said that this percentage could not be “inserted” into the automated election system.

“Mahirap iprove ‘yan kapag sinabi mong may cheating with regards to that percentage kasi unang una ‘yung ating system, dumaan ‘yan sa ating certification. Mayroon tayong local source code review. How can you insert such percentage na ipanalo mo ‘yung kandidato mo o matalo ‘yung kandidato mo? (These cheating allegations with regards to percentage are difficult to prove because our system underwent certification. We have a local source code review. How can you insert such percentage to allow a certain candidate to win or lose?),” Casquejo said in a press briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Casquejo said that the Comelec’s transparency servers received the results from different clustered precincts, and not from a single area only.

“So wala pong tinatawag na balwarte (So there is no concept of bailiwick),” he said.

“If you receive the results and there will be a percentage lead, most likely ganon na rin ‘yung lead when it comes to completing all the transmissions,” he added.

Casquejo also affirmed that the consistent margin between Marcos and Robredo’s votes was “statistically probable.”

“Yes, this is statistically probable. I’m not a statistician but pwede naman nating makita sa (we can look at the) transmission. Hindi naman by balwarte or by region ‘yung transmission kundi scattered (The transmission was not by bailiwick or by region but scattered),” he said.

To ease the concerns of the public, the commissioner said that the Comelec will be ready to check the election returns (ERs) or the receipts, or conduct a random manual audit in selected areas.