Philippines: 1.6m remaining votes could tilt the scales in VP race

(From agencies)

As the unofficial vote count in the Philippines presidential elections entered Day 3, a poll monitor data indicated that the remaining 1.6 million yet to be transmitted from different parts of the country and overseas are crucial in the close vice presidential race.

 Leni Robredo (L) and Sen. Bongbong Marcos

Leni Robredo (L) and Sen. Bongbong Marcos

Anna Singson, spokesperson of Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), said on Wednesday around 1.2 million local votes are yet to be transmitted considering the 81% turnout. About 400,000 from overseas voting too are expected considering the 40% turnout.

While Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s poll victory seems to be almost certain after he took an unassailable lead of 15.83 million votes, according to the latest PPCRV data, focus has shifted to the vice-presidential race between Robredo and Marcos which is still too close to call.

Marcos alleged inaccuracies in the unofficial vote count and appealed to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to stop the process.

Responding to Marcos’ charges, Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon asked him on Wednesday to show evidence first.

She said while the poll panel will accept his appeal as per the rules, she does not see any reason to suspend the unofficial tally unless lapses are proved.

The purpose of the unofficial count is to promote transparency in the electoral process and poll watchdogs such as the PPCRV are mandated to inform the public on the conduct of the elections, she said.

Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said the panel has not formally received any request from the Marcos camp to halt the counting.

Marcos’ spokesmen said they are requesting for suspension of the unofficial tally so as not to sow “confusion and conflict” with the official poll results.

Earlier, lawyer Jonathan Dela Cruz, legal counsel of Marcos, said the suspected irregularity in the canvassing of polls started in the late hours of Monday night.

“It is unfortunate that while the whole country was asleep, the glitch in the canvassing occurred and from then on we saw a progression of so-called ‘updates’ that showed an alarming and suspicious trend reducing our lead contrary to the results of independent exit polls and our own internal surveys,” Dela Cruz said.

Marcos said Robredo’s lead indicated that the “Plan B” of the LP was in full swing.

“It looks as if they have proceeded with Plan B because they are stopping the transmittal of votes from my bailiwicks. It is as if they are showing that Representative Robredo is leading,” Marcos said.

He said a number of results from northern Luzon, particularly from Isabela and Pangasinan provinces, had not been reflected in the partial and unofficial PPCRV quick count.

Robredo said  the allegations were unfair. “When I was trailing, I never made allegations that the front-runners were cheating,” she said.

Robredo is ahead of Marcos by 225,326 votes.

As we enter the final nine percent of election results to be transmitted, Liberal Party (LP) Robredo with 13,943,334  votes  (35.13%) has increased her lead over Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr who amassed 13,718,008 votes, or 34.57% of the counted votes. Robredo said she will wait for the official count to claim victory.

As of 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, the unofficial results of the presidential race were Rodrigo Duterte (15,698,601); Manuel Roxas II (9,534,944); Grace Poe (8,810,624); Jejomar Binay (5,229,602) and Miriam Defensor-Santiago (1,401,131).

Unofficial results of the vice presidential race were Leni Robredo (13,808,534); Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  (13,576,236); Alan Peter Cayetano (5,602,078 ); Francis Escudero (4,743,027 ); Antonio Trillanes IV ( 830,017 ) and Gregorio Honasan II (746,865).  92.67% of votes from 92,509 clustered precincts have been counted.



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