Press Release
April 29, 2018

De Lima calls Marcos, Tolentino poll protests 'based on empty charges'

Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged defeated senatorial bet Francis Tolentino and vice-presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos to stop exploiting their election protests against her and Vice President Leni Robredo for propaganda ends and instead accept defeat.

De Lima, who is considered as one of the most renowned election lawyers in the country before she joined government service, likened Marcos' election protest to Tolentino's election complaint which she considered as "based on empty charges."

"[Both] repeat the perennial election loser mantra that the evidence that proves that they were cheated is the fact that they lost," she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 281.

"It is an argument based on the tautology that losing is equal to having been cheated, when the explanation can be as simple as the more probable occurrence, and which almost always is the fact, that more voters voted for their opponent than them," she added.

Marcos has earlier blamed "massive cheating" as the reason behind his electoral defeat to Robredo in the 2016 vice-presidential race by 263,473 votes, while Tolentino claimed alleged fraud and irregularities as the cause of his lost in the said elections.

It may be recalled that De Lima garnered a total votes of 14,144,070 while Tolentino only got 12,811,098, which is a huge margin of 1,332,972 votes according to the official proclamation of the Commission on Elections.

Like Tolentino, De Lima maintained that Marcos cannot win his election protest by "acoustics" alone.

"Every election lawyer knows that. You win election protests by showing proof during the recount and revision that you actually got more votes than your opponent," she said.

"Tolentino failed to do that, as I garnered more additional votes than him during the recount / revision. Let us see if Marcos can do better than Tolentino, although I highly doubt that," she added.

The former justice secretary reiterated that Marcos, whose propaganda strategy is to resort to disinformation to undermine the foregone results of the 2016 elections, should know that the law requires proof to prove anything remotely related to cheating.

"Wet ballots are not enough. Allegations of pre-shaded ballots are not enough. So-called findings of audit logs and voters' receipts not found inside the ballot boxes are not enough. Grass inside ballot boxes is not enough. Resigning Head Revisors is not enough," she noted.

For De Lima, Marcos and Tolentino "should just admit that they simply lost, and concede" and stop making false accusations about the 2016 national elections. "That's what gentlemen would do," the Senator said.

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