MANILA - A lawyer for Vice President Leni Robredo said Tuesday that contrary to her election rival's claim, "mysterious squares" on soft copies of ballots during the 2016 elections did not point to cheating.
Former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. had raised the issue in his on-going protest against Robredo, who won the vice presidency by 263,473 votes, the slimmest margin in recent history.
The squares were a special feature that allowed the vote-counting machines to determine which shaded ovals were valid and could be counted as votes, said Robredo's lawyer, Romulo Macalintal.
Marcos had previously shown soft copies of ballots with squares that seemed to have automatically counted the votes to Robredo even though another candidate was selected.
Macalintal said Marcos "was fed with the wrong information" as the squares and boxes on the soft copies of ballots "are for all candidates."
"Bakit sinasabi niyang kay Robredo lang ang square? Hindi siya (Marcos) kasi nag-aaral. Ngayong alam na niya, hihingi sila dapat ng paumanhin," he said.
(Why is he saying that the squares were for Robredo alone? He didn't do his homework. Now that he knows, he should apologize.)
Macalintal also showed proof that votes for other candidates were counted and not just those of Robredo's.
"Ang problema kay Marcos, namili lang siya para iliko niya ang katotohanan...Kaya hindi totoo sinasabi nya na squares are only for Robredo," Macalintal said.
(The problem with Marcos is that he's selective to twist the trust... What he's saying that the squares are only for Robredo, it's not true.)
Macalintal said ballots in the same precinct have the same serial number but different suffixes, answering another of Marcos' questions.
Such a design was made to prevent the ballot from one precinct to be counted by the vote counting machine in a different precinct, he said.