February 25, 2018, 3:43 am
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Nothing shady in ballot marks, Robredo lawyer tells Marcos

THE camp of Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday said there is nothing “mysterious” in the squares that appeared in the copies of ballots cast during the 2016 elections.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Robredo’s counsel, said the camp of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was absent when the Commission on Elections explained the new feature in the ballot images.

Earlier, Marcos called as “mysterious” the squares that appeared in their copies of ballot images. He said the square appeared to be a mark that the vote counting machine should recognize in lieu of the oval-shaped spot that voters needed to shade to indicate their chosen candidate.

Marcos said the squares appeared particularly beside the name of Robredo.

“The squares enclosing the votes are a new feature of the 2016 elections. These squares capture those markings that meet the minimum 25 percent threshold set by Comelec,” Macalintal said at a press conference.

“This was discussed by Comelec during a briefing attended by different political parties before the elections,” Macalintal said.

“Marcos was ill-advised to believe that the presence of these ‘square shapes’ are signs of massive election fraud and immediately went to the media to announce such a phenomenon only to realize later that he and his adviser committed a great blunder for calling such special feature of the 2016 ballot images as irregularities to favor Robredo,” he said.

Marcos also noted a number of ballots with the same ID.

Macalintal explained that the ballots are precinct specific.

Macalintal reiterated his plea to Marcos “not to use the name of Robredo and his dying or naghihingalong election protest to gain media and political mileage for his plan to run for senator in the 2019 national and local electons.”

“By way of self-defense, we call upon Marcos to concentrate on the forthcoming recount of ballots from the three pilot provinces where he claimed he would overcome the 250,000 vote-lead of Robredo, instead of immediately informing the press that he is in possession of ‘shocking evidence’ of election fraud only to find out later that he was fed with the wrong information,” Macalintal said. – JP Lopez 
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