Via crucis: SC petition with smoking gun | Inquirer Opinion
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Via crucis: SC petition with smoking gun

Am I going ahead of myself when I ask: Is it possible that something irregular was deliberately set up with a red flag so that it would be noticed and exposed? That is presuming the good in people.


Or did zealous operators in their haste overdo it? Kadudaduda tuloy, it left something for doubting Thomases who are now peering at the cracks to arrive at the truth.

We are two days away from Holy Week. It behooves us to go back to events of the recent past, the May 2022 presidential elections in mind, and find the incontrovertible truth. To take cognizance of efforts of groups and individuals who tackle doubts so that as a nation we can, once and for all, accept or reject the outcome of the recent electoral exercise.


In their separate judicial affidavits, three petitioners for a writ of mandamus filed before the Supreme Court swore and stated the gist of their petition:

“I hope the Supreme Court will promulgate a politically neutral provisional remedy, as soon as possible, before the 9th of November 2022, directing the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the telecommunications companies (DITO Telecommunity and Globe Telecom and Smart Communications) to preserve the subscriber and cyber traffic data integrity of the national election results transmitted from 7 p.m. to at least 9 p.m. of May 09, 2022.” This is also in the title of the petition for mandamus filed with the Supreme Court on Nov. 3, 2022.

The petitioners are Augusto Cadelina Lagman, Eliseo Mijares Rio Jr., and Franklin Fayloga Ysaac. Lagman is former chair of election watchdog National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections and president of Philippine Computer Society. Rio is former Department of Information and Communications Technology secretary. Ysaac is former president of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines. In social media, they are called TNTrio.

I listened to them during last Sunday’s Zoom forum, “Philippines Election Rigged? Mandamus and Impeachment,” where they discussed “the truthfulness and sufficiency of Comelec’s so-called ‘transmission logs,’ the pending mandamus petition in the SC and the movement to impeach Comelec commissioners.” The other speakers were retired Col. Leonardo Odoño (Philippine Military Academy 1964) and Mel Magdamo, former senior attorney in the Comelec. They gave explosive justice to the name TNTrio.

I have a copy of the 100-page petition for mandamus, much of which are supporting documents, showing proofs of the petition’s urgency and the “smoking guns.” It also includes a list of letters, pleadings, and affidavits pertinent to the case that show “procedures rendering improbable (almost impossible) transmission of election result within an hour from closing of polls.”

In simple words: How did an avalanche of election results favoring presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. get transmitted in so short a time? The “witching hour”—to use Halloween parlance—was 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. of May 9, 2022, but most especially between 7 p.m. and 7:17 p.m. or thereabouts.

The three Telcos—Dito, Globe, and Smart—if patriotic enough and compelled to do so by the Supreme Court, will have to come forward with what they have.


The mandamus petition may look intimidating because of the legalese and technicalese, but it really boils down to this, in the words of lawyer Oswald Magno, forum moderator in Toronto: “The uncanny speed of vote reporting plus the statistically improbable constant vote ratio among the presidential candidates is the smoking gun.”

The petition couldn’t be more direct: “If Comelec cannot show the public that at least 2,000 transmission reports were received electronically that have the date/time stamp between 7:00 pm and 7:17 pm as of May 9, 2022 then the only conclusion that can be derived is that such numbers were preloaded into the transparency and/or Comelec servers.” Preloaded, remember the word.

“We challenge Comelec to demonstrate to the public that all activities required in its General Instructions, including the printing of the election return (ER), can be done in less than 17 minutes before any transmission is made … We further appeal to the poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting to tell the public whether, in their manual count of the printed ERs given to them, they could account for at least 2,000 Transmission Reports of ERs with date/time stamps between 7 p.m. and 7:17 p.m. If none of these can be shown or proven, then the data being shown in the Transparency Server is fraudulent from the very beginning.”

The mandamus petition also showed, through dazzling graphs and charts, how “mathematically, logically, and statistically highly improbable if not impossible” the initial Comelec results were.

The mandamus petition is not for the lazy of mind. Plodding through it, and the arguments and statistical proofs presented, was indeed a via crucis for me, a via dolorosa playing out in a national landscape. May it end triumphant at the last Station of the Cross, where Truth rises with stunning brilliance.


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