MANILA—The data found in the SD cards that were retrieved from supposedly unused Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) during the May 2016 polls are proof that fraud had been committed thus bolstering the election protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“This strengthens our position that massive fraud was indeed committed in the last elections because SD cards from unused VCM should be empty. However, we have confirmed today that indeed they have data in them so that bolsters our position,” Lawyer Victor Rodriguez, spokesperson of Marcos said in a statement.
Rodriguez added the data in the SD Cards also supported their contention that the VCMs should not have been opened or stripped until after the conclusion of Marcos’ election protest at the Presidential Electoral Protest (PET).
“How can more than 120 SD cards have data in them when they came from VCMs kits that were not used? This is highly questionable. This also supports our contention that the VCMs should be preserved until the election protest is concluded in the PET because they represent an important aspect in the protest,” he said.
Last October, the poll body conducted the decryption of 26 of the 127 SD cards, wherein 13 of the cards were found to have folders containing data in them, during the stripping of 1,356 unused VCMs.
The other 101 SD cards were not part of the decryption as they were set aside by the Senate Electoral Tribunal on motion by former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino on his election protest before the Tribunal.
With this, Rodriguez vowed to continue to fight for truth and the integrity of the elections, despite the many hurdles being thrown their way.
“Of course, we will fight this until the very end because the integrity of the country’s election system is at stake here and we would not stop until we shall have exposed all the fraud and machinations they carried out and continuously carry out until the present,” he said.
Earlier, Marcos’ lawyers had opposed the stripping of the unused VCMs claiming that it is a violation of the Protective Precautionary Order issued by the PET to preserve the integrity of the ballot boxes and other equipment used in the last elections.
Despite the objections of the camp of Marcos, the poll body still proceeded with the stripping and turnover of the VCMs last October.