MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Defeated vice-presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Wednesday lodged an election protest against Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, just a day before the outgoing Camarines Sur congresswoman assumes office.
Marcos, who lost to Robredo by only around 200,000 votes, filed the protest before the Supreme Court (SC), which acts as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
The camp of Robredo welcomed Marcos' filing of election protest. "Pabor kami na mag-file sila para masagot namin ang mga tanong at alegasyon nila," said her spokesperson Georgina Hernandez.
In a press conference, Marcos said his 1,200-page petition delved into three main issues, namely the weaknesses in the automated election system (AES), the "traditional election abuses," and Smartmatic's alteration of a script in the transparency server.
The camp of Marcos has repeatedly questioned the integrity of the 2016 polls following the alleged violations committed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic when the technology provider changed a script in the transparency server in the evening of May 9.
Marcos also accused the poll body of ignoring the supposed vulnerabilities and irregularities of the AES.
Smartmatic, for its part, has insisted that the alteration was merely "cosmetic" and did not have any effect on the election results.
READ: Candidates with the letter ñ: Why Smartmatic changed script
Marcos, however, claimed that massive and "blatant" fraud took place, paving the way for the administration candidate to win the vice-presidential race.
The outgoing senator said they have many witnesses and pieces of evidence that will show the Aquino administration committed what he called "traditional election abuses," including vote-buying, ballot-switching, tampering of the transmission system, intimidation, and failure of elections.
READ: Marcos son claims 3-M votes lost to fraud, tags Aquino gov't
He said the delay in the filing of his protest before the high court, which was originally scheduled at 11 a.m. and later moved to 2 p.m. then 4 p.m., was due to the continuous submission of evidence by various individuals who believe in his cause.
"Maraming biglang lumilitaw, maraming nagdala ng kung ano-anong mga ebidensya. So for all the complaints that we have made, we have complete documentary and testimonial evidence," said Marcos.
"At bukod pa riyan, maraming natatakot pa ngunit sinasabi nila na pag-upo na pag-upo ni Pangulong Duterte, sila'y maglalabasan na dahil alam nilang hindi na sila pwedeng habulin ng nakaraang administrasyon," he added.
According to Marcos, he is confident that the case will be resolved by the SC justices quickly due to the huge volume of evidence he has submitted. The annexes attached to his petition are around 20,000 pages long, he said.
Marcos, the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, also stressed that this fight is no longer only for his own benefit but for the whole Filipino electorate.
"Hindi na ito tungkol sa akin. Ito ay tungkol na sa mga milyong-milyong boto na winala at sa milyong-milyong botante kung kaninong mga boses ay hindi narinig ng ating Comelec, ng ating sistema ng halalan. Ito ay hindi lang tungkol sa aking kandidatura kundi sa proseso natin ng paghalal, na dapat ayusin nang hindi na mangyari ulit itong napakagarapal, napakanakakahiyang ginawa, na pinagtatawan tayo ng buong mundo.
"At ang masakit pa nitong lahat, alam nilang halata sila, wala silang pakialam. Hindi sila nahihiya sa kanilang ginagawa," the senator said.
Robredo, candidate of the Liberal Party, won the vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes, only 263,473 more than the 14,155,344 votes of Marcos, her closest rival.
Robredo has repeatedly denied allegations of rigging the polls, adding that Marcos' accusations are a disservice to Filipino voters. - With reports from Johnson Manabat, dzMM; Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News
READ: Election fraud allegations impossible - Robredo