Wet boxes that bore the Comelec logo and marked as "2022 official ballot" from a Manila polling precinct were found in a vacant lot in Cavite as seen on a viral post on Facebook, which the poll body on Monday dismissed as trash as it investigates the incident.
The poll body blamed "human error" after its logistics partner F2 Logistics picked up the boxes containing used envelops and copies of election returns while collecting the vote-counting machines from the polling center Jose Rizal Elementary School in Tondo, Commissioner George Garcia told TeleRadyo.
"Wala na pong laman na mga original na balota 'yan, laman po 'yan ng mga basu-basura nung mismong araw ng eleksyon. Nung kinokolekta ng F2 Logistics 'yung vote counting machines sa bawat presinto, ang nangyari po naisama ang boxes na 'yan," he said.
F2 Logistics was tasked to bring all the VCMs from the polling precincts back to Comelec's warehouse in Sta. Rosa in Laguna, said Garcia. The poll body has asked the logistics firm to explain why the boxes containing trash ended up in Amadeo, Cavite, he said.
Comelec is also looking into the lapses in the chain of custody as it assured voters that all the ballots from Jose Rizal Elementary School in Tondo are accounted for, said Garcia.
"Lahat po ng mga balota na ginamit nung araw ng eleksyon, original ballot especially, 'yung mga nahulog sa machine at nasa loob ng ballot box, fully accounted po mula sa city treasurer's office of Manila. Wala pong nawawala, wala pong kulang, walang sobra whatsoever, eksakto po," he said.
"'Di pupuwede papalampasin ito, definitely po fa-file-an po namin ng kaso kung talagang may liability ang kung sinuman ang in charge sa chain of custody."