Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino is seeking for a vote recount before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) to nullify the result of the senatorial elections especially in some parts of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and hold a recount of more than 1.3 million votes.

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It can be recalled that Tolentino ranked 13th in the May 9 senatorial race, getting 12,811,098 votes.

Securing the 12th spot was Senator Leila de Lima who garnered 14,144,070 votes.

In a 60-page amended election protest dated July 25, 2016, the former MMDA chairman stated cases of pre-shaded ballots and ballot snatching in the ARMM manipulating the result of the senatorial election.

“The prevalence of pre-shading in certain areas in the ARMM region puts into doubt each of the votes cast therein, including the 6,890 votes cast in the 16 precincts from the municipality of Al-Barka,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino also mentioned the reported security breach in the automated elections system (AES), particularly the alleged tampering of the script of the transparency server located in the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center Building in Manila City, which contributes to the tainted results.

He was referring to the unauthorized changes and actions made by Smartmatic Executive Marlon Garcia to the script in the transparency server hours after the elections.

With this, Tolentino said,  that alone should be sufficient for the SET to open the ballots and declare him as one of the 12 winning senatorial candidates.

He said votes supposedly for him were not counted in some precincts in Samar, Lanao De Norte, North Cotabato, Lanao de Sur, Basilan, Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. He added that he can present sworn statements of registered voters saying that they voted for him

The illegal bypass of the AES and the use of pre-loaded secure digital (SD) cards used in the Vote Counting Machines (VCM) was also stated in Tolentino's protest.

Tolentino said the unauthorized consolidation servers were set up in Lucena, Tarlac and Laguna where the transmitted results from precincts were altered and manipulated for the benefit of some national candidates from the Liberal Party, including De Lima.

“These altered and fraudulent results were then sent to an unauthorized main configuration center in Pasay City before being transmitted to the three official servers– the Canvassing Server, Central Server, and the Transparency Server,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Franklin Drilon, one of the members of the SET, said members of the tribunal met Thursday but they only tackled procedural matters.

“We were briefed on the petition filed by Tolentino and the response of De Lima and the timetable,” Drilon said.

However, Drilon added that SET mebers agreed to decide on the case before the end of the 17th congress on 2019.

A preliminary on October 6 was aset by the set in a bid to summarize everything.

Tolentino, despite the support of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, a religious group known to practice block-voting and the endorsement of President Rodrigo failed to make it on the “magic 12." AJRSP

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Tolentino pushes for vote recount Tolentino pushes for vote recount Reviewed by Kristian S. on 26 September Rating: 5

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