FACT CHECK: No, PH lawmakers do not have a 'final official result' in the VP poll recount

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 05 2019 09:27 PM

Facebook posts shared tens of thousands of times claim the National Board of Canvassers in the Philippines has reached a "final official result" in the 2016 vice presidential election recount that shows Vice President Leni Robredo lost. 

The claim is false; the Supreme Court – not the board – is the final judge of the recount and its official results have not yet been released.

Multiple Facebook posts, for example here and here, where it has been shared more than 25,000 times since being published on March 27, 2019, contain an image showing an illustration of Robredo's face with a red cross over it.

The words “Bye Leni!” appear next to the illustration, and above text saying in capital letters: “National Board of Canvassers Final Official Result Leni Robredo 11,418,817 Bongbong Marcos 15,155,344.”

The National Board of Canvassers is comprised of lawmakers from both houses of the Philippines' Congress.

Bongbong Marcos, son of deceased dictator Ferdinand Marcos, lost the May 2016 vice-presidential race to Robredo.

After the election Marcos filed a protest, published here on his website, alleging that Robredo cheated by manipulating computerized voting machines – prompting a recount of the ballots, reported on by AFP here.

Below is a screenshot of one of the Facebook posts purporting that the "final" results show Marcos won:

Translated into English, the posts’ caption says, in capital letters: “Because of the gag order… this is not allowed but the truth will come out from the Supreme Court watch out for it!”

It continues: “Your days are numbered you cheating porridge… you’re an embarrassment in history!”

Disputes involving vice-presidential election results are handled only by the Supreme Court – not Congress – according to section 4 of Article VII in the Philippines' constitution, which is online here.

It says: "The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice- President, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose."

Below is a screenshot of the that section of the constitution with the relevant part circled in red:

Screenshot of Philippine constitution with relevant section circled in red

Supreme Court spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka told AFP that no results had been released in the election dispute between Marcos and Robredo.

“Once a resolution has been released on this matter, we will inform the public through the media,” he told AFP by telephone on March 29.