MANILA - Former Vice-President Jejomar Binay on Monday successfully cast his vote after his ballot was initially rejected by a vote-counting machine (VCM) in San Antonio High School, Makati.
Speaking to reporters, Binay said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gave him a new ballot after his first ballot was rejected by the VCM.
"I saw them cross out my ballot. Normally, they rip that up," he told reporters. "This is an instance where they have to ensure a new ballot."
Binay initially arrived past 7 in the morning in Precinct 0550C in NB 304 in San Antonio High School to cast his vote.
After successfully shading his ballot, Binay tried 8 times to insert his ballot in the vote-counting machine but it kept rejecting it.
Incensed, Binay went directly to the Philippine International Convention Center to complain to the Comelec.
"Hindi na ako nakaboto. Wala na 'yung chance ko na bumoto. Mag re-reklamo ako ngayon sa Comelec. Galit ako. Bakit wala na tayong magagawa? Ganoon na lang iyon?" he said.
In a press briefing, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said problems with the machine led to the rejection of the ballot. He said the poll body would provide another machine at the polling precinct.
“Hindi lang siya ang essentially makaka-re-feed. Lahat ng na-reject, especially those who came after him, lahat yun mare-re-feed,” Jimenez said.
“Hindi ito special treatment in any way. It’s just that siya lang yung pinaka high-profile at siya lang yung sumugod dito,” he added.
Several politicians, including Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay and Pasig City Councilor Vico Sotto, have also complained of deferring their vote due to problems with the vote-counting machines.
Sotto said at least 35 VCMs were reportedly not working in Pasig.
"I have not voted. I chose to wait until the machine is working before I enter my vote," he told ANC.
Binay said it might have been fate that it was him who encountered the glitch.
“Ako pa? Sakin pa nangyari yun? Kung [nangyari] sa iba na hindi ko katulad, wala, pababayaan na yun,” he said.
“Mukhang binigyan kami ng pagkakataon na ipaabot ang pagkukulang na ito. Talagang ako pa? Ilan ba ang g***** katulad ko na talagang [pagdating sa] human rights, talagang lalaban tayo sa prinsipyo."
“If you multiply yung nangyari sa akin at saka lahat nung kasama ko [sa polling precinct], maraming mawawalan ng boto. Naka-boto, pero hindi nabilang." -- With a report by Kat Domingo, ABS-CBN News