The electoral races in Bohol are practically over except for the tight gubernatorial contest due to defective SD (secure digital) cards from three towns.
Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap (302,802 votes) led over top opponent Leoncio Evasco, Jr.(296,530 votes) based on the Provincial Board of Canvassers’ (PBOC) count as of Wednesday morning but two SD cards from Tubigon, one from Panglao and five from Sagbayan are still awaited for a winner to be proclaimed.
The gubernatorial race was affected by the glitch of just eight SD cards as the remaining votes to be canvassed could still affect the final results of the election of Bohol’s next top government official.
According to Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial supervisor Eddie Aba, the SD cards were being reconfigured in Cebu due to glitches.
The delayed transmission of election returns has caused concern from the camp of Yap over the possibility that the devices could be subjected to tampering and alteration.
During a brief press conference after his proclamation at the Captiol, outgoing Governor and congressman-elect Edgar Chatto, Yap’s staunch ally, told the media that their camp is “strongly questioning” the delayed reconfiguration of the SD cards.
Chatto said that “anything can happen.”
According to Aba, two SD cards of precincts in Tubigon have arrived from Cebu on Wednedsay morning while only one SD card from Panglao and one from Sagbayan are still being reconfigured.
“Ang atong mga kauban dinhi sa provincial Comelec ang nagkuha sa Cebu. So hopefully gi-expedite ni atong gipaabot na SD card,” he said.
Four of five of the defective SD cards in Sagbayan have been reconfigured but the entire town will only transmit election returns to the PBOF once reconfiguration of the last SD card is completed and it is transported to the municipal canvassers.
“Ang atong Panglao wa pa mo-abot. Usa nalang ka SD card ang gipaabot na ma-reconfigure sa Sagbayan,” Aba added.
According to Aba, they are expecting that all the remaining SD cards to be transported to their respective precincts on Wednesday.
Consequently, the PBOC may proclaim the province’s new governor tonight.
“Atong paningkamutan na mahuman na g’yud ni karong adlawa,” Aba said.
Although no one has been proclaimed winner yet, Evasco has already issued a statement that he will be filing a petition for failure of elections, alleging that the polls in Bohol were marred by “massive” vote buying.