Elections Rigged? Comelec Says That's Hard to Prove

As netizens observe supposed pattern in transmitted election returns.
Photo/s: Chaideer Mahyuddin, Agence France-Presse

The Commission on Elections on Tuesday said allegations of cheating may be hard to prove as it addressed observations from netizens on a supposed pattern in the unofficial tallies being transmitted for Bongbong Marcos and Leni Robredo.

Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said that its systems underwent review and certification to ensure that no one could interfere with the results.

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"Mahirap i-prove yan kapag sinabi mong may cheating with regards to that percentage. Yung system natin dumaan sa ating certification. Meron tayong local source code review," he said in a press briefing.

"How can you insert such percentage na ipanalo mo yung kandidato or matalo yung kandidato mo?" he added.

Netizens said they have been seeing a pattern in the transmission of election returns, where votes for Robredo supposedly always accounted for 47% of Marcos' votes.

Casquejo said election returns being transmitted do not come from a single place, but from various locations around the country.

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"In our transparency server, tumatanggap siya ng resulta coming from different clustered precincts. Walang tinatawag natin na balwarte," he said.

"So in the first transmission that starts in 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., iba-ibang lugar ito, hindi ito sa Region I, Region II, III, IV, V, and VI. So lahat ng clustered precincts in different locations, nagta-transmit papuntang transparency server," he added.

Comelec Commissioner George Erwin Garcia attributed the speedy transmission of the tallies to the "improved and upgraded equipment and systems" that were put in place specifically to prevent the seven-hour glitch in the 2019 elections.

Casquejo said the random manual audit, which should start within five days after the polls, could dispel questions on the credibility of the automated elections system.

"In RMA, tinitignan natin yung accuracy ng machine but not the election result but the accuracy of the machine," he said.

"Other than that, meron tayong PPCRV, they do the manual loading of the results. Hindi sila nagre-rely on the transmitted results. Meron din silang encoding of their election returns," he added.

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