Former COMELEC Lawyer on 25% shading threshold: ‘a crazy policy’ - The Daily Sentry

Sunday, July 29, 2018



Former COMELEC Lawyer on 25% shading threshold: ‘a crazy policy’




Composite photos from GMA Network and UNTV's Political Watch
In his recent Facebook post, Philippine Military Veteran and former Undersecretary for Special Concerns Abraham “Abe” Purugganan shared a rather interesting fact about former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) lawyer turned whistleblower, Atty. Melchor Magdamo about the technicalities of the electoral agency’s current dictation on the 25% shading threshold.

Despite pending poll protest concerning the National and Local elections way back 2016, the COMELEC on Thursday, July 26, 2018, exhorts in using the said threshold in all poll recounts, entirely in contrast with the defeated Vice – Presidential candidate’s current lawyer, Solicitor General Jose Calida.


Although the poll body DENIES that it is rooting support for Vice President Leni Robredo in the electoral protest, COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez says otherwise without proper judgment.

“This characterization is wrong and misleading,” Jimenez said.

On Purugganan’s post from the words of Atty. Magdamo, "the minimum shading must never go below 50% because ordinary paper discoloration without ink shade can already cause around 10% to 20% "white noise" which may bloat to 25% if humidity enters the paper," he said.
Abe Purugganan, photo from Google
Antonio Tamayo, one of the many Netizens who commented to Purugganan’s post suggested, “with the COMELEC recent ruling on the controversial 25% shading, the Supreme Court En Banc must now take full control of the PET and decide on the VP Leni vs BBM Electoral Protest.”

In one of its many statements issued, COMELEC said, "In deciding election disputes, like election protest, decisions should be based on the standards and procedures used during the conduct of elections and in ascertainment of election results."

"To use different standard would be erroneous and may result to unnecessary questions on the legitimacy of all elected officials, from the President down to the last Sangguniang Bayan member," the COMELEC defended.

Meanwhile, here’s Abe Purugganan’s entire post from Atty. Melchor Magdamo’s discernment:
Melchor Magdamo, photo from LinkedIn
“From Atty. Melchor Magdamo:

When I was in the Comelec, the minimum shading must never go below 50% because ordinary paper discoloration without ink shade can already cause around 10% to 20% "white noise" which may bloat to 25% if humidity enters the paper. 

That means there is a big risk that the machine may count natural paper discoloration as "vote" if the threshold is 25%. Moreover, why adjust the 50% down to 25% without informing the people and why only after elections during a protest? Remember Comelec & GMA Network spent extra effort to convince the S*x Bomb Dancers to sing and dance the jingle "may itlog na hugis bilog" so that voters will shade 100%. 

I personally supervised that S*x Bomb project, that's why I was frequently in the Timog area during those times. Anyway, going down to 25% is a crazy policy especially in humid countries like the Philippines. The Presidential Electoral Tribunal on 50% prevails over a mere opinion of the Comelec.”

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Source:  Abe Purugganan (Facebook)