“In Philippine elections,” so goes the familiar line, “there are only winners and those who were cheated.”
Bongbong Marcos has accused VP Leni Robredo of widespread cheating & intimidation! Will launch poll protest.
Under martial law, Marcos turned electoral fraud into a perfect art of Hitlerian dimensions. In 1978, 1984 and the 1986 snap election, the impregnable cheating machine crafted by Leonardo Perez, Marcos’ evil genius, was deployed with terrifying force. From Philippine StarFrom ABS-CBN News
MANILA - 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 high court, which acts as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
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.
Smartmatic, for its part, has insisted that the alteration was merely "cosmetic" and did not have any effect on the election results.
Marcos, however, has maintained that massive automated fraud took place, paving the way for Robredo to win the vice-presidential race.
The senator has also said that they have witnesses and evidence that will show there was massive cheating, including vote-buying, ballot-switching, and tampering of the transmission system.
Marcos son claims 3-M votes lost to fraud, tags Aquino gov't
Robredo 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.
1986 Snap Poll Cheating
In its study, IPER (2007) noted that election violence is “a systematic and premeditated act aimed at monopolizing electoral victories through various coercive means”. According to Patino and Velasco, it can range from intimidation, threat, kidnapping, murder, as well as arson and bombings of strategic locations by candidates, their campaign staff, or goons and private armies, armed rebel groups, as well as the police and the military (Co et al. 2005, 25). People refer to it as the three Gs—guns, goons and gold or “ang magkapatid na panda—pandarahas at pandaraya” (Lacaba 2000). On election day, 7 February 1986, Newsweek reported that in a Manila slum, “armed men raided a precinct, dumped the ballots into a storm sewer and stuffed the boxes with replacement. In Muntinlupa, thugs fired into the air to drive away poll watchers, one of whom was a nun. In another precinct, a goon held a knife to the throat of a poll watcher until she surrendered the box.” The report continued that government officials, even if banned from the precincts, wentthere to distribute money. In known opposition areas, people were disenfranchised because they couldn’t find their names in the voters list (Byington 1988, 19-20). NAMFREL volunteers and poll watchers documented of the fraud. Ariel Quioge, a Bureau of Internal revenue employee, reported that in their precinct, they were not allowed inside during the counting and that only Marcos votes were being counted. When they protested, they were reported as troublemakers. Desideria Narciso, a housewife, reported how Cory was winning in the precincts as she was in charge of the papers and how in the city canvass, Marcos was way ahead. There were also numerous reports of flying voters in different parts of the country. Even the foreign media noticed, as noted by
Seattle Times reporter Dick Cleaver when he saw buses bringing flying voters in precincts, “If 500 guys get even a part of this on film, then the world will know what’s happening here today.” (Byington 1988, 20-33).
Poll watchers were conscious that this election might be a repeat of the violence and intimidation of the 1984 Batasan election famous for “ballot snatchings,” and it did. In Muntinlupa, Vic Olaguera reported that goons fired automatic rifles that made the counting be disrupted and that they threatened with knives the poll watchers to give them the ballots, the tally sheets and the voters list. In that school, only half of the precincts finished counting. Tess Cruz, a bank employee, reported on how only a few minutes after the polls closed at 3:00 pm, M16s were fired outside the polling places, and that when everyone was on the floor, the goons scattered the ballots on the floor, this happened despite the presence of some foreign media. In Makati, Tony Esteban asked a barangay captain to leave a polling place thrice. By the third time, the official was cursing him and he came back with some men. Tony’s son, Tony Jr. had a camera with him and so he snapped a shot of him as he was being hit with a chair. When his sisters came to help him, they too were manhandled. Then Tony Jr. aimed his camera as he grabbed a table leg and swung it to the goons. The goons retreated. Budoy Sanchez, a bank employee, was manning the NAMFREL hotline and received numerous reports of harassed NAMFREL women, kidnapped nuns and stolen ballot boxes. In a written complaint to the Chairman of COMELEC, Antonio M. de Inchausti said that he received at the NAMFREL headquarters at La Salle Greenhills an emergency call to go to Julo Elementary School in Mandaluyong. Goons there scared the voters and pollwatchers. They switched the contents of three ballot boxes and had thrown the real ballots in the sewer. Benjamin Rieza reported in Makati that as Cory Aquino was leading in all the precincts by 3:30 pm gunfire was heard all around and NAMFREL volunteers were ordered out in gunpoint. Someone had a grenade and threatened to throw it which made people run. The wife of the goon pleaded not to cause trouble and the goon told her that he was doing it because they needed the money. The goons also kicked the media and destroyed their equipment. Lily Ylagan, an employee of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, said that she caught flying voters in Palanan Elementary School in Makati City by asking them about streets in the area. With her insistence they finally admitted coming from Batangas. When she went outside the classrooms, she saw armed uniformed men. In a few moments, a battle ensued inside the classroom. Chairs were flown, the people, including women teachers and nuns defended the ballots as goons were trying to get them. Orlando Sentinel’s Randy Harrison reported, “Worse than South Africa, Central America, and South America—and I’ve been to all in the past year.” (Byington 1988, 20-33) An enduring photo of a goon pointing a gun at a group of volunteers protecting ballot boxes was taken despite the risk by Gerry Baldo, and an image of a group of masked armed men taking ballot boxes taken by Al Podgorski (Moyer, et al., 1986, 104).
In just a few days, February 11, 1986, former Antique governor Evelio Javier, whowas monitoring votes in his province for Cory Aquino, was gunned down by goons believed to be taking orders from KBL member Assemblyman Arturo Pacificador.
TIME’s Sandra Burton noted: Vote fraud, as carried out in the Philippines, was not a subtle art. The closer the election result was expected to be, the more brutal the attempts to fix it. The grossness of the fraud that was carried out in this election would reflect the further breakdown of the regime. Pretense, pride, secrecy were gone—behavior which desperate men could not afford. Orders were still being obeyed, but they were being executed crudely by gangs of mercenaries, who were without accountability or concern for the consequences to the president who issued them (Burton 1988, 348)In a post-election television forum at Channel 4, famously referred to as the “Saturday Night Massacre” telecasted live starting 11:15 PM of 9 February, when confronted by these reports of violence, panellists from Kilusang Bagong Lipunan side by side with COMELEC officials seemed to be in chorus bullying the NAMFREL officials (Byington 1988, 193-196). If NAMFREL’s partiality is under question because of its ties with the opposition, Commission on Elections showed itself in the forum, in my opinion, as an arm of the administration. During the first hours of the counting, President Marcos was leading in the COMELEC counting while Cory Aquino was leading the NAMFREL quick count. But during the official canvassing of the COMELEC, an hour before the Channel 4 interview started, their own computer tabulators walked out because they saw that whatever data it was they submit, in the large screens they would appear differently. Cory Aquino felt she was being cheated and that she actually won the election. TheBatasang Pambansa took over the canvassing of votes and in their final official count President Marcos won 10,807,197 votes (53.62 %) over Cory’s 9,291, 761 (46.1%). In fairness, it is interesting to note that the partial unofficial NAMFREL count, when it ended, also reflected President Marcos the winner with 7,835,070 votes to Cory’s 7,053,068. It was either Marcos really won the election or the pre-vote cheating such as vote buying and ballot switching was so widespread as to make Marcos the winner (Malaya and Malaya 2004, 344-345).
President Marcos’s old friend President Reagan remarked in a press conference of his concern about the violence in the Philippines and on the fraud occurring “on both sides.” Many international observers were not amused by this statement. Cory Aquino then called for a rally dubbed “Tagumpay ng Bayan” at the Rizal Park on 16 February 1986 attended by a million people. She called for boycott of businesses and industries supporting the regime. According to author Angela Stuart Santiago, if EDSA didn’t happen, the boycott would have been so effective in bringing down the economy and the regime anyway (Stuart Santiago 2000). But Cory prepared the hearts of the people to participate in the unexpected turn of events from 22-25 February known to the world today as the first peaceful “People Power” revolt that ousted a dictator ever in world history.
According to Randy David in a 2001 ABS-CBN documentary, “The votes that were not counted during the snap elections suddenly had feet and strolled to EDSA."