“Philippine Overseas Absentee Voting marred by irregularities” — Sen. Bongbong Marcos

Senator Ferdinand "Bong-Bong" Marcos ©
Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos ©

VICE presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the Overseas Absentee Voting is marred by irregularities.

Sen. Marcos, the only son of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., made the allegation after learning that OAV votes cast in his favor were credited to other candidates in the receipts.

Marcos said more vote receipt discrepancies have been reported with the latest happening in California, USA. He noted that vote receipt discrepancies have also been earlier reported in Hong Kong, Dubai, Kuwait and Japan.

“We are in the process of collating all complaints, all data in preparation for the filing of a complaint before the Commission on Elections regarding the controversy. We will exert all efforts to get to the bottom of this,” Marcos said as he vowed not to take the vote receipt discrepancies issue sitting down.

“What is disturbing is that I am the only one losing votes!” the senator exclaimed.

At the same time, Marcos also chided the Comelec for warning voters from taking selfies with their receipts saying that instead of wasting its time on such matters, the poll body should ensure the conduct of clean, honest and credible elections on May 9.

He aired the call after the Comelec said the Board of Election Inspectors in Dubai, Hong Kong, Vientiane in Laos, Madrid in Spain and Singapore reported incidents of voters taking selfies with their ballots.

The taking of selfies by voters with their ballots is prohibited by the Comelec.

Marcos, however, said “instead of going after voters taking selfies, the Comelec should focus all its efforts in addressing various issues that threaten the credibility of the elections, such as the reported discrepancies in the ballot, the printed receipts and the hacking of their website that compromised voters’ data.”

Marcos theorized that the reports on alleged discrepancies in the votes in the ballot and the printed receipts could have spurred voters in the OAV to take selfies with their ballots.

“You cannot fault the voters to take actions in a bid to protect their vote if they continue to hear reports of alleged flaws in the voting process. So, instead of going after those taking selfies, the Comelec should get its act together to allay any suspicions of cheating or voting irregularities” he said.

Nevertheless, Marcos still urged Filipinos to go to the polls and cast their votes despite reports of vote discrepancies after observing the low turnout of Overseas Absentee Voting. Only an estimated 13 percent of the 1,376,067 registered voters abroad went out to vote as of late.

“I still encourage our kababayans abroad to exercise their right to elect leaders whom they think will be instrumental in the development of the country, so they won’t even have to leave their families to work abroad,” he said.

“It is important for OFWs to stand up and be counted. Even if they hear negative things about the process. I urge you, our kababayans to still vote and report if you are victims of anomalous activities so that your vote will be secure and also for action to be taken against the perpetrators,” he added.

In response, Comelec Commissioner Arthur Lim said the poll body will investigate should Sen. Marco file any charges. 


Christian Joel Espiritu
Christian Joel Espiritu is a veteran reporter of a Manila based newspaper. A Bachelor in Journalism degree holder from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, he started his journalism career as a reporter-trainee of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in the late 80's and early 1990's.

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