THE votes cast for senators in clustered precincts in Barangay Talamban, Cebu City where Random Manual Audit (RAM) was conducted showed some differences from the topnotchers in the national canvassing of the mid-term elections.
Sonny Angara, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) candidate, garnered the most nods among Talamban residents with 540 votes based on the manual count.
Under the Automated Election System (AES), the result that was transmitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) last Monday night was that he had 502 votes or a variance of 38 votes.
As of 4:07 p.m. yesterday, the Comelec canvass of votes update showed he is currently in sixth place with 11,566,190 votes.
Ramon Magsaysay Jr. of the Liberal Party is in second place with 449 AES votes and 481 in the RMA count.
Comelec count third placer Nacionalista Party candidate Alan Peter Cayetano also ranked third in the Talamban precinct with 497 votes on manual count and 460 under AES or a variance of 37 votes.
Independent national candidate Grace Poe, who is currently leading the count, is seventh with 444 from RMA and 421 under AES.
The rest of the top 12 candidates based on RMA count are Chiz Escudero, Benigno Bam Aquino, Koko Pimentel, Poe, Loren Legarda, Miguel Zubiri, Risa Hontiveros, Richard Gordon and Cynthia Villar.
The variance between AES and RMA count among the senators ranged from two to 38 votes, at least in Talamban.
The general instructions issued by Comelec for the RMA sates that “the ballot boxes of the precincts that were chosen by random all over the country would be turned over to the Technical Evaluation Committee for technical determination of the root cause of the difference between the two manners of counting.”
It would be the committee that would probe whether the discrepancy is valid.
The RMA team, led by Zenaida Gocotano, that conducted the count in Talamban Elementary School had served as Board of Inspectors in previous elections noted that ballot appreciation should be included in the process.
A copy of the audit returns was given to the Comelec’s Cebu-based citizens’ arm, the Cebu-Citizens’ Involvement and Maturation for People’s Empowerment for Liberation (C-Cimpel), which will, in turn, turn over their copy to the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in Manila.
Other copies of the audit returns were given to the Comelec, political parties and candidates.
The RMA count only involves votes cast for senators, congressional candidates and mayors and was conducted in at least 231 precincts in the country. The process aims to determine the cause of differences in vote counting between manual procedure and the automated process.
In the Talamban precinct, Cebu City North District congressional candidate Raul del Mar garnered 616 votes under RMA and 563 votes under AES with a variance of 53 votes.
In second place is talent manager Anabelle Rama with 115 RMA votes and 105 AES votes.
In the mayoralty race, Rep. Tomas Osmena (Cebu City, South District) gained 421 votes (RMA) and 427 (AES) over his political opponent incumbent Mayor Mike Rama, with 357 (RMA) and 363 (AES).