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Bongbong claims Duterte aware there was cheating in polls

 


President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is aware that cheating took place in the May 9 elections, defeated vice presidential candidate, Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Saturday.

Marcos paid a courtesy call on Duterte in Davao City on Friday night to discuss his father's burial at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani and a possible Cabinet position in the incoming administration.

"Put it this way. He never said anything like that but he said 'I know there was cheating.' That's as far as he went sa kanyang statement," Marcos told reporters in a media forum in Quezon City when asked whether Duterte got the impression that he was robbed of victory in the vice presidential race.

Marcos lost to administration bet, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo by just 263,000 votes, making it the closest vice presidential contest since democracy was restored in 1986.

The senator, however, claimed the will of the people was not reflected on the official results, saying there are some three million votes which were not accounted for.

"Tatlong milyon ang nawalang boto sa undervote at ito ay napakalaki. So you can see na doon tinapon ang boto ko, ginawang undervote para hindi na mabilang. Nakapagbawas pa sa areas kung saan ako malakas," he said.

"Talagang maliwanag na maliwanag sa taumbayan na napakalawak at napakawalanghiya ang pangbabastos at pangwawalanghiya sa boses ng taumbayan," Marcos added.

Marcos directly accused the administration of vote rigging as he recalled nemesis President Benigno Aquino III telling the public during the campaign that the latter would do everything to stamp out his family's political comeback.

The senator noted only the administration has the resources to mount a massive cheating operation.

"Iisa lang pwede gumawa niyan, administration. We have to lay that at the door of the administration because they are the only ones who could do that" he said.

Marcos could not say yet who are the specific individuals behind the supposed cheating although he assured the names would surface in the end.

"Lalabas at lalabas ang mga pangalan na yan. Kung may nangyari, may nag-authorize niyan," he said.

LENI REACTS

In a statement, Robredo slammed Marcos for coming up with statements that sow doubt in the integrity of the elections and divide the nation.

"Ginagalang natin ang kanilang kalayaang magpahayag. Ngunit nakakabahala na kada linggo ay may mga pahayag sila para ikondisyon ang ating taumbayan sa nakaraang halalan," she said.

She maintained that the polls were conducted in a clean and orderly manner, citing assessments from foreign observers, the Commission on Elections, poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and the Philippine National Police.

"Imbis na tayo'y makapagsimula para muling buuin ang bayan, patuloy nilang pinaghihiwa-hiwalay ang ating bansa sa kanilang mga pahayag," Robredo said.

The senator is set to formally challenge Robredo's victory before the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, on June 28.

He said his lawyers are still finalizing the grounds for the protest, which he hopes would be resolved as early as possible.

Earlier, Marcos' lawyer Jose Amorado said their protest would specifically ask for a recount of votes in areas where allegedly there were indications of election fraud and manipulation.

They would especially want a recount in some towns in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao where Marcos got zero votes based on the election returns and certificates of canvass. — APG, GMA News

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