THE early hours of the May 9 elections although generally peaceful were greeted with various complaints of irregularities mostly centered on defective and non-working vote counting machines (VCMs) especially in traditional strongholds of presidential frontrunner former Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos in Northern Luzon.
Some of the complainants came from the towns of Narvacan, Sta. Cruz and Burgos in Ilocos Sur as well as in Tabuk City, Kalinga.
They all claimed that they voted for Marcos but when they checked the results, their votes were credited instead to Leni Robredo.
One of them, Raymar Racacho, 50, of Brgy. Quinarayan, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur claimed that he voted for Marcos as president on his official ballot.
However, after submission to the Board of Election Inspectors and the ballot went through the VCM, the result of his vote appearing on the printed receipt was credited to Robredo.
This prompted him to report the same to the BEI before formally filing a complaint.
Over at Kalinga, Joseph Pullis and Benny Pa-ut both of Brgy. Lacnog East, Tabuk City, also filed formal complaints claiming that they both voted for Marcos but their votes were instead credited to Robredo after they came out of VCMs.
After receiving these reports, the camp of Marcos has advised their supporters to be extra-vigilant and report to the proper authorities anything that would negatively affect the results of the elections.
“We are taking note of these complaints but we are confident that the Comelec is ready for any eventualities especially against attempts by some groups to subvert the genuine outcome of this all-important and history-making political exercise,” Atty. Vic Rodriguez, chief of staff and spokesman of Marcos said.
Reports reaching BBM camp as of 11 a.m. indicated that there were some 1,867 VCMs that have encountered various problems in different areas of the country, such as paper jam, 940, rejected ballots, 606, failed VCM scanner, 158, VCM failed printers, 87 and not printing properly, 76.