Miriam backs Bongbong, questions VP race


Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Miriam Defensor Santiago. File Photo.

MANILA (UPDATED) - Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Wednesday echoed Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s claim of a suspicious trend in the vice presidential race which shows her running mate trailing administration candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

In a statement Wednesday, Santiago said Marcos used to lead pre-election surveys until days before May 9, when the administration allegedly started "manufacturing" numbers.

"I find it astounding that Marcos should have led in the vice-presidential surveys for many months, until the penultimate month, when suddenly the administration could jump up survey results to finally overtake him," said Santiago, who ranks fifth in the presidential race.

"The roller coaster ride of vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. invites comparison with a garrison state. In such a state, the authoritarian government feels free to manufacture numbers as they are needed," she added.

READ: Marcos questions latest survey: Bakit ako bumagsak?

The Marcos camp has claimed there is an ongoing "dagdag-bawas" or vote-padding/shaving operation in the partial and unofficial count of Monday's elections.

Marcos initially had a lead of close to 1 million votes in the vice presidential race but later emerged as a second placer to Robredo. 

Robredo, for her part, denied allegations of cheating in her favor.

"Kung meron man, ako po mismo yung mauunang magkontra sa kahit anumang klase ng pandaraya," she said. "Pero ngayon po, wala akong ma-imagine kung papaanong klaseng pandaraya at papaano ito gagawin."

WATCH: Robredo belies cheating claims, impeach Duterte plot

According to Santiago, this alleged manufacture of numbers "will cause the peoples of the democratic world to shake their heads and question the values of the society it produced."

The camp of Robredo, for her part, said they respect the opinion of Santiago. 

But spokesperson Georgina Hernandez maintained that the rise in the congresswoman's survey numbers was a result of her hard work.

"Ang pagtaas na ito'y bunga ng hirap at pawis ng mga tagasuporta at volunteers ni Cong. Leni kaya para sabihin na ito'y minanipula lang ay malaking insulto sa kanilang pagsisikap," Hernandez said.

"Kita naman po natin ang takbo ng partial at unofficial tally. Nakalagay po ito sa mga website na puwedeng tingnan ng publiko anumang oras. Kung mayroon silang nakitang anumang anomalya sa bilangan, mas maganda sigurong idaan natin sa tamang proseso at huwag idaan sa media ang reklamo."