Will Comelec chief's woes affect Marcos poll protest? Lawyer chimes in

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2017 12:38 PM

MANILA - Allegations of corruption hurled against Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista will not affect the poll protest of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo, her lawyer said Wednesday. 

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal said questions about the integrity of the May national elections can only be proven by discrepancies in the votes cast in the ballots and those transmitted by the vote counting machines -- not by claims that Bautista pocketed commissions from election technology provider Smartmatic. 

"Ipagpalagay mo nang totoong may tinanggap na komisyon, palagay ko'y hindi para masira ang integridad ng ating halalan. Kasi para masabi mong nasira iyan, dapat nagkaroon ng pagbabago o kaya hindi tama ang bilang," 

"Napakarami ng election protest na binubuksan sa iba't ibang probinsya. Nagkaroon na ng bukasan, bilangan. Wala kahit isa na nagbago ang resulta. Ang bilang ng balota, tumutugma sa bilang ng PCOS (precinct count optical scan machines)." 

Bautista's wife, Patricia, earlier claimed that her husband has P1 billion in undeclared assets. She also alleged that the poll chief "might have had, or currently has, misdealing and corrupt practices while in government service." 

Baustista has denied the allegations, which he said aim to undermine the integrity of the elections that he supervised. 

He kept mum however on reports that Marcos and his wife, Liza, had brokered his and Patricia's recent meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. 

Marcos earlier filed a protest to contest his defeat to Robredo by a close margin of a little more than 260,000 votes during the May polls. 

He alleged flaws in vote counting machines, the supposed failure of election in some areas in Mindanao and the introduction of a new hash code into the transparency server on election day could have affected the vote. 

Patricia meanwhile said the Marcoses did not arrange her meeting with Duterte. 

She also denied her husband's allegation that she extorted money from him and had an affair