MANILA, Philippines - Losing vice-presidential bet Manuel "Mar" Roxas II confirmed Tuesday that he has started the process of formally challenging the results of the vice-presidential election, which saw him lose to opposition bet Jejomar Binay.
In a statement, the Liberal Party candidate said he is happy that the party's standard-bearer, Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, won the highest office of the land with a "clear and overwhelming mandate."
"Binabati ko po ang aking standard-bearer, si President-elect Noynoy Aquino. Wala na pong duda sa kanyang tagumpay. From day one, the success of his campaign has been as important to me as the success of my own. Karangalan ko po ang maging bahagi ng isang matagumpay, tapat, at malinis na kampanya. Karangalan ko po ang patuloy na pagtulong sa tagumpay ng sambayanang Pilipino sa pamumuno ng administrasyong Aquino," he said.
In his statement, Roxas thanked the 14 million voters who supported his candidacy as well as the approximately 3 million Filipinos whose votes were not counted by the Congressional Canvass.
He said he has asked his lawyers to gather records and evidence "and to study and prepare towards the possibility of filing an electoral protest."
"We have 30 days to do this. I owe it to our people to ensure that the electoral process will truly be an instrument of their will. Nananatili pong bukas ang pinto sa anumang pagkilos na hihilingin sa akin ng humigit-kumulang sa 14 na milyong Pilipinong sumuporta sa ating kilusan para sa makabuluhang pagbabago," he said.
Lawyers of the LP bet earlier called for an expanded random manual audit of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines after noting a high number of “null votes” in almost every certificate of canvass (COC) canvassed by the Joint Committee of Congress.
Roxas' lawyer Joey Tenefrancia of the Villaraza, Cruz, Marcelo and Angangco Firm, told ABS-CBN News that as much as 2.6 million votes for the vice-presidency alone were considered by PCOS machines as “null votes.”
Null votes refer to votes not counted by the PCOS machines for any of the following reasons---improper shading, undervoting or overvoting for a specific position.
The final tally of the National Board of Canvassers showed Binay winning the vice-presidential by a slim margin.
Binay won the vice presidency with 14,645,574 votes in the final count, while Roxas was in close second place with 13,918,490 votes.