Losing Pasay City bet cites defective CF cards in election protest

by Reynaldo Santos Jr., abs-cbnNEWS.com/ Newsbreak

Posted at May 26 2010 02:08 PM | Updated as of May 26 2010 10:10 PM

Manila, Philippines - Defective compact flash (CF) cards and election returns (ERs) have "improperly and illegally credited with thousands of votes" to winning Pasay City mayoral candidate Antonino Calixto, according to an electoral protest filed on Tuesday before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The protest, which was filed by outgoing congresswoman and losing mayoral candidate Consuelo Dy, sought to annul the proclamation of Calixto, stating incidents of unreplaced defective CF cards, fake ERs, and reportedly missing CF cards that suddenly appeared during canvassing which could have affected the counting of votes for the mayoralty race.
Outgoing city vice-mayor Calixto defeated Dy, incumbent mayor Wenceslao "Peewee" Trinidad, and 4 others in a 7-way mayoralty race where he garnered 59,087 votes (33.71%). 
Dy came in a close second with 56,576 votes (32.37%), followed by Trinidad with 46,178 votes
Dy explained in her petition that out of the 183,618 voters who actually voted in the city, the sum of all votes for all mayoral candidates only amounted to 175,304. She claimed that the missing 8,314 votes were not counted by the "defective and/or pre-programmed CF cards and precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines".
"These 8,314 votes which were not counted will surely materially affect the results of the elections for the contested position of City Mayor since the protestee has a presumptive lead of only 2,511 votes against the protestant," said in the protest.
The questionable instances that involved the CF cards and ERs are said to have made this discrepancies possible, according to the petition.
Dy said that around 80% of the total 370 PCOS machines in Pasay City which failed the initial sealing and testing were not replaced. 
During the initial testing of the machines done a week before the polls, it was reported that Dy failed to get a single vote despite the fact that she had watchers present at the time who voted for her.
While the votes were being canvassed on election day, Dy’s complaint noted that votes from 54 cards which were unable to transmit data from the PCOS machines were transmitted by the city board of canvassers (CBOC) using 4 “unidentified PCOS machines.” 
This, according to the complaint, violated the Comelec rule regarding transmission of untransmitted data from the PCOS machines. 
Dy also claimed in her complaint that 28 of these cards were even reported lost at first, but was found the next day with no explanation as to their loss.
Dy also said in her complaint that a number of ERs were “reported fake,” as they did not have the seal and logo of the Comelec at the back page. 
She also claimed that some of the ERs registered inconsistent poll closing time in the local and national polls even when they came from the same machine and precinct.
"Had it not been for the foregoing massive electoral frauds, anomalies and irregularities and defects, the results of the 10 May 2010 elections for the position of City Mayor of Pasay City would have been different and, no doubt, the protestant was the rightful and true winner thereof," said in the petition.

Aside from annulling the proclamation of Calixto, Dy also requested in her petition for the manual recount of all the ballots in all the 370 clustered precincts in the city. - Rey Santos, abs-cbnNEWS.com/ Newsbreak