This Monday, May 9, election day, the PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting) said they have received reports saying that there were 5 vote counting machines (VCMs) hidden in some the rooms of Novotel hotel in Quezon City. However, the conversation below suggests the reasons why no VCM was found after inspection.
The controversy started when DZBB anchor Rowena Salvacion tweeted on Monday morning, “PPCRV chair Henrietta de Villa: A friend told me there were VCMs at the 7th flr of Novotel, in Cubao, QC.” The said hotel is located inside the Araneta Center, which is owned by the family of Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet, Mar Roxas.
Before lunch, representatives of the Kontra Daya, PDP-Laban, LP, and PPCRV, and some members of the media joined Smartmatic-TIM general manager Ellie Moreno and Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista in his actual inspection of room #s 502, 510, 512, 514 and 516 where the VCMs were allegedly seen. Not a single VCM was found.
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In an interview to the media, Bautista said that the allegations of hidden VCMs inside Novotel is serious, so they have to personally inspect it at once. He also cautioned the public not to immediately believe rumors. On the other hand, Roxas said that the PPCRV should apologize, noting that his camp supports clean and honest election.
Likewise, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon noted that if there are really 5 VCMs at Novotel, then there should have also 5 missing VCMs in their inventory. However, the PPCRV representatives who accompanied Bautista said they still have doubts because it took hours before they were allowed to enter the said hotel rooms.
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Come early morning of Tuesday, May 10, the partial and unofficial election returns from the Comelec showed that votes for LP vice-presidentiable Leni Robredo slowly went closer to the votes for Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, who was initially ahead of her by more than 1 million votes. Robredo later led the race, and until as of posting.
Partial and Unofficial Results as of 4:45 PM, May 11, 2016 representing 95.59% of the Election Returns. (90,115 of 94,276 Election Returns) (43,509,348 of 55,735,757 Registered Voters); Credit: Comelec-GMA Mirror Server
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From 4:59 to 5:30am on Tuesday, GMA News and CNN Philippines showed that the votes for vice-presidentiable, Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero were reduced by 36,422 votes instead of adding up. And on the same time frame, the votes for Robredo were increased by more than 36,000. Both TV networks have apologized for the mistake.
And although the issue of the alleged VCMs inside Novotel hotel is now closed, a conversation between two people appears to be revealing a “secret.” Based on the screenshot that is now spreading on Facebook, the VCMs were transferred to another rooms, and that Bautista allegedly pretended that he did not know about it.
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In addition, the conversation suggests that the accusation of Sen. Bongbong Marcos that PNoy has a Plan B appears to be true. Earlier, the son of the late-president Ferdinand Marcos told media that the Aquino administration will push the win of Robredo for vice president. And once elected, she would help impeach Duterte.