The camp of former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said that it has discovered unused ballots "pre-shaded" with votes for Vice President Leni Robredo—a claim that a lawyer for the Vice President derided as an attempt to "confuse" the public.
Marcos’ lawyer Vic Rodriguez said that the supposed ballots were discovered in Bato and Baao, both in Camarines Sur.
“Pre-shaded ito at ibinilang kay Mrs. Robredo. At nandoon po sa compartment ng mga valid votes. Tapos sa municipality of Baao, ang nakita naman ho, ‘yung mga unused again and excess ballots, pre-shaded. And pre-shaded doon po sa pangalan ni Mrs. Robredo,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez called on Robredo to resign.
“Take the high ground. Consider resigning and returning yung posisyong hindi naman talaga sa ‘yo doon sa duly-elected vice president of the Republic, kay Senador Bongbong Marcos,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez also claimed that more wet ballots were discovered on Tuesday. Marcos had earlier said that some of the ballots from a Camarines Sur town had been wet and their contents "illegible."
Robredo’s lawyer Romulo Macalintal scoffed at the allegation and Rodriguez's call for the Vice President to resign.
“Hahaha! It only shows they have no evidence at all to prove their protest. We have not even revised 5 percent and now he wants to stop the revision and wants his client to be proclaimed? What a ridiculous and frivolous position,” Macalintal replied.
“He [Rodriguez] should be the one who should resign as spokesperson of Marcos because he is giving nonsense statements,” he added.
Maria Bernadette Sardillo, another Robredo lawyer, said that the ballots could have been "rejected ballots" that were wrongly stored.
"These could be rejected ballots that were mistakenly placed inside the envelope for unused ballots. Based on experience, due to the conditions inside the precincts where our BEIs (Board of Election Inspectors) are awake as early as 4AM, mistakes happen," she said in a statement.
"This should be another attempt of the camp of losing candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to throw shade in the recount process and further confuse the public."
Macalintal also said the Marcos camp may have misunderstood the issue again.
“There is no such thing as unused ballots [that] could be credited to a candidate,” Macalintal said.
The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, is currently conducting a recount of votes cast in 5,418 clustered precincts of three pilot provinces—Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental—after Marcos lodged a protest against Robredo's victory over him in the vice presidential race in 2016. — with a report by Nicole-Anne Lagrimas/BM, GMA News