DEFEATED IN CF CARDS COUNT, LEADING IN MANUAL COURT COUNT

Defeated in CF cards, leading in court count 

By TOTO CAUSING

All the supporters of former mayor of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, Abundia L. Garcia, 
shocked and awed when the protest she filed against CF cards showed her 
wresting the lead in the ongoing manual count before the Regional Trial Court 
of Gapan City, Branch 34.
From the margin of loss of 1,156 votes as counted by the PCOS 
machine and the CF cards therein, Garcia is now leading by 19 votes over 
opponent Gloria “Baby” Congco, with still 19 clustered precincts still to be 
opened by the court for the manual revision.
During the first phase of the manual revision, covering 20 
clustered precincts, the margin resulting from the PCOS count was drastically 
reduced to 290 votes.
After the 20 precincts were counted, the Second Division of the 
Commission on Election chaired by Nicodemo Ferrer stopped the manual count of 
the court by means of a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) on the ground 
that the protest did not comply to the “form and substance” for failure to 
state what precincts were protested against by Garcia, and on the allegation 
that the reason that Congco’s votes were drastically reduced was that the 
electronic paper ballots with votes in favor of Congco were stolen from the 
ballot boxes while being deposited at Cabiao’s treasurer’s office.
That TRO was issued despite the vehement opposition of Garcia that 
there was no more requirement to state and substantiate what fraud occurred in 
what precincts because she was protesting all the precincts, and that it was 
impossible to steal PCOS paper ballots from the ballot box because of the very 
thin opening in the middle of the top of the boxes that makes impossible for 
the paper ballots to be picked out.
Additionally, Garcia argued that it was highly improbable for her 
to pick ballots voted in favor of her opponent because the votes of her running 
mate and allied councilor candidates may be affected as it is always possible 
that voters voted for her opponent yet they also voted for her allies.
When the court count proceeded because the TRO was not extended, 17 
more clustered precincts were opened and the Comelec-count votes of Congco was 
further reduced, drastically again.
In Clustered Precinct No. 29, Congco’s vote of 295 was reduced to 145 votes 
only; while Garcia’s Comelec votes of 264 stayed at 264 after the manual count.
This reduced the 290 margin of Congco to 140 votes.
Vote counts in Precincts Nos. 24 to 28 did not change.
When votes in Clustered Precinct No. 23 were revised, the 240 votes 
of Congco in the Comelec count were reduced to 90 votes only, or by 150 votes.
This enabled Garcia to overtake Congco and wrest the lead by 10 
votes.
The manual count in Precinct No. 22 did not change. But the vote 
count in Precincts Nos. 21 and 20 in Barangay Polilio increased the votes of 
Garcia from 393 to 405 while that of Congco’s increased from 290 to 291.
This increased the lead of Garcia by 11 votes. 
The day after Garcia had wrestled away the lead, the Comelec issued 
a decision on the certiorari petition of Congco ordering the RTC of Gapan to 
dismiss the protest case in a 12-page decision signed by Ferrer and 
Commissioners Lucenito N. Tagle and Elias R. Yusoph.
Many residents of Cabiao lost respect to CF cards upon hearing the 
news of the drastic reversal of the results as against the manual count.
During the voting day on May 10, 2010, there were 21 precincts that 
malfunctioned such that there was no counting that occurred.
Days later, the uncounted ballots were counted when the PCOS was said to have 
been repaired.
It was said that the malfunctioning of these PCOS machines were said to have 
been due to the CF cards.
In Precinct37 of Barangay San Gregorio, the original count of Congco was 290 
votes as against Garcia’ 204. But when the court revisers opened the ballot 
boxesit showed that Congco only had 119 votes: a difference of 171 votes.
In Precinct 38 of the same barangay, the original count of Congco was 260. But 
when the ballots inside the box were examined, she had only 69 votes.
In Precinct 52 of Barangay Sta. Isabel, the original count of Congco was 186. 
When the ballots were examined she only had 44 votes.
In Precinct 53 of Barangay Sta. Rita, the original PCOS machine’s count was 
378 votes. But the manual examination by the court showed she should have only 
180 votes.
In Precinct 54 of the same barangay, the original CF card’s count was 321 
votes. The manual count of the court showed she should have 122 votes only.
In Precinct 55 of the same barangay, the original Comelec count was 406 votes.