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Another claim of a pre-shaded ballot distributed to overseas Filipinos has emerged, this time in Canada, which the Philippine envoy in Ottawa denied on Tuesday (April 26).
Inquirer reported Philippine Ambassador Rodolfo Robles as saying that he received a complaint from a Filipino in Vancouver, claiming that person's ballot was pre-shaded.
But Robles said this was impossible as the complaint was made on the same day the ballots were mailed from Ottawa, and it would take at least two days for the ballots to arrive. “So, paniwala po namin imposible ‘yun kasi it takes the post office to distribute it to the areas according to the address. So, hindi po pwedeng matanggap on the same day, especially alas-4 na ng hapon po."
(So, we believe that it is impossible because it takes the post office to distribute it to the areas according to the address. So, it cannot be received on the same day, especially since it was mailed at 4 p.m.)
Speaking on on TeleRadyo’s On the Spot, Robles added that the incident was a “poisoned pill.”
“So, kaya sabi ko sa akin pong imbestigasyon, consider it what you call a poisoned pill. Nakakasira sa sistema ng botohan." (So, I said in my investigation, consider it what you call a poisoned pill. It destroys the electoral system.)
There are some 90,000 registered overseas Filipino voters in Canada, out of 1.6 million worldwide. Overseas absentee voting started on April 10 and will end on May 9, election day.
In April 11, a pre-shaded ballot was "inadvertently and unintentionally" given to a voter in Singapore in an "isolated incident", said the Philippine Embassy in the city-state. The Embassy stressed that it was aware of only one incident of a spoiled ballot given to a voter, which has been officially recorded.