Poll watchdogs: Over 500k lead in votes needed for convincing win for nat'l posts

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Poll watchdogs chant: " 2016 worst elections ever"

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Election watchdog Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch) doubts there was transparency in the recently conducted 2016 elections.

Dr. Rene Azurin, AES watch analyst said: “Transparency is the most crucial element of elections. That is not present in our elections.”

Without mentioning names of any candidate, Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg) executive director and AES Watch lead coordinator Evita Jimenez meanwhile said a candidate should have more than 500,000 votes over the next candidate to establish a convincing victory.

"Dapat ang lamang mo ay 500,00 votes pataas. If hindi umabot ng 500,000, 'di ito kapanipaniwala," said Jimenez.

[Translation: It should be 500,000 or more votes. If it doesn’t reach 500,000, this won’t be convincing.]

The watchdogs, however, failed to explain the basis for the number of votes they cited or any election rule that should be applied to make results "convincing."

The partial unofficial count of the vice presidential race shows frontrunner Rep. Leni Robredo has a narrow lead of more than 200,000 votes over Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as of Wednesday afternoon (May 11).

Toti Casino, Philippine Computer Society (PCS) former President, said with the current count by the Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the “vice presidential race results are highly questionable.”

AES Watch representatives also urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cut ties with Smartmatic, which has supplied Comelec with vote counting machines (VCM) for the past three national automated elections.

Also read: Comelec chairman: Special elections held in some areas

Election watchdogs believe the results of recent elections have been deceptive. "Why are the VCM machines breaking down when they are supposed to be brand new," WE Watch representative Anna Leah Escresa said.

The watchdogs also expressed their interest in “investigating” the memory cards that were used in the recently conducted national elections.

Marcos’ camp on Tuesday (May 10), said in a statement they would ask the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and PPCRV to terminate the unofficial count.

In a statement, they said that unofficial count might preempt the official canvass by the national board of canvassers.

Meanwhile, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they have not received any formal request from Marcos. But he also said the law directs Comelec to have three servers receiving electronically transmitted votes.

CNN Philippines’ Selina Dagdag and JC Gotinga contributed to this report.

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