24 May Bam Aquino Interrupts Marcos’ Privilege Speech, Marcos Answered Empathically
On Monday, May 23, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos delivered his privilege speech regarding the alleged cheating and flaws in the May 2016 elections. He opened up questions that made the credibility of the partial and unofficial results of the tight vice presidential race between him and Liberal Party bet Leni Robredo doubtful.
Leni Robredo’s campaign manager, Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino stood up and asked Marcos if the changing of the hash code has affected the unofficial results reflected in the Commission on Elections (Comelec)’s Transparency Server.
In response, Marcos’ camp answered that the change done on the hash code is the catalyst of Robredo’s sudden surge in the counting, overtaking Marcos in the process, who one time has led for almost a million votes ahead of Robredo.
Aquino then asked Marcos, “I take it, you don’t accept their explanation of what happened? They have come out very strongly that this is merely a cosmetic change,” saying that the explanation of Smartmatic is credible on why the change has been made.
Marcos replied firmly saying, ““I can stand here and say many things, Mister President, but I have to back it up with data, with proof, and evidence.”
Aquino questioned again, “You’re saying it yourself that any accusation must be backed up with the proper data, proper numbers. And currently, right now, your assertions in the transparency server…Is there any data, or you’re merely calling for opening up for scrutiny?”
Marcos remained constant in his words that a proof is indeed present. But he said that revealing it in the Senate floor that time is not the proper place to do so. He said, “Oh yes, no, no, no, quite the contrary. We wouldn’t have bothered asking for all of this authorization to go in, had we not spotted many discrepancies that need to be clarified. This is not a fishing expedition. It is something clearly in aid of clarifying the irregularities that were clearly seen and admitted to by both Comelec and Smartmatic.”
Aquino said that the change in the hash code is just an “unfortunate” incident.
Marcos answered wittingly, “Unfortunate, Mr. President? I think that it would characterize it as more than unfortunate. It’s illegal.”
“Comelec itself has already castigated Smartmatic,” Aquino reacted.
But Marcos retaliated, “Castigating Smartmatic does not remedy the situation.”
Aquino took the heated exchange of conversations into the analytical posts by some academicians and asked Marcos further questions, “I’d just like to mention that numerous academicians have actually said there is nothing irregular about that,”
“For that matter, numerous academicians have said there is,” Marcos responded.
“Mr. President, two. You have two academicians that said there were irregularities,” Aquino answered quickly.
Yet Marcos answered again in an intelligent and practical approach to Bam’s question, “Ano ba ‘to, padamihan ng academicians o naghahanap tayo ng katotohanan?” Marcos emphasized again that their camp will present the documents supporting their claims “at the proper time.” Marcos’ camp has already asked the Comelec to have their own IT experts to audit the servers before canvassing starts on May 25.
Aquino did not stop in his inquiries on Marcos. He continued and said, “If changes in the server affected the elections, do you mean only the vice presidential race was affected?”
Marcos, knowing that Aquino’s question does not lead to the core of the issue, he repeated again that the point of this complaint was to determine what truly happened when the hash code was changed.
“I don’t know what happened. Exactly, this is the whole point. We did not know what happened when Marlon Garcia opened the file. What else did he change? What did he do? What else did anyone change afterwards? We don’t know. That is the whole point of what we are trying to talk about,” Marcos said.
That’s the whole point, and unless Aquino and the rest of the persons who are disturbed in the issue ask more questions that do not lead to the core of the complaint, the point that Marcos wants to be acknowledged will never be answered.
Marcos has already delivered his privilege speech empathically, how will the Comelec react?