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VACC asks to join SC case contesting 2013 Senate poll results

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and other individuals have asked the Supreme Court that they be allowed to join the plaintiffs of a case which seeks to nullify the proclamation of the 12 senators who won in the 2013 midterm elections.

In a 45-page petition-in-intervention, the VACC said that they wished to join a set of candidates defeated in the 2013 polls who have alleged the inaccuracy in election returns and defects in the counting machines used during the elections.

The VACC petition was signed by election lawyers Glenn Chong, and Melchor Magdamo, professor Nelson Celis of the Automated Election System watchdog organization, and Rev. Wendell Unlayao and VACC chair Martin Diño.

The intervenors cited a Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court decision which said that there was a huge discrepancy between the precinct count optical scan-generated results and the manual recount votes for senatorial candidate Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

They also sought to disprove the "functional equivalence" of the ballot images that the Comelec relied on to explain the huge discrepancy.,

A VACC statement argued that the ballot images did not faithfully capture the shades made by the voters, "hence, the same could not be considered the best evidence, a charge which Comelec failed to rebut at the Senate inquiry."

They also quoted the testimony made by Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes before the Senate that the PCOS machines counted non-existent votes and nullified valid votes. Brillantes was also allegedly said that this scenario could happen again in the 2016 polls.

In their 25-page petition filed last March 31, the original group of petitioners accused the Comelec of grave abuse of discretion when it proclaimed the winning senators in the May 2013 polls "despite the questionable accuracy of the election returns that were sought to be canvassed."

The 12 senators proclaimed in the May 2013 polls were: Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Aquilino Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes IV, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Gregorio Honasan, and Cynthia Villar. — DVM, GMA News