Poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has found no discrepancies in the unofficial count of election returns, its chairperson said Wednesday.

PPCRV chairperson Myla Villanueva said as of Wednesday night, the transparency server posted that 98.31 percent of the 107,785 total number clustered precincts were counted without any discrepancies reported, disputing allegations of a “fixed gap” between the votes of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his nearest rival Vice President Leni Robredo.

Marcos leads by a wide margin, more than double the tally of Robredo.

This year’s national election, she said, is the “most modern” automated election in the world that Filipinos should be proud of.

“Imagine that, 106,000 precincts, one person, one vote. When you feed that ballot into the machine, it’s consolidated and right away sent to what we call canvassing systems that add up your votes and show up on the boards,” she said in a forum at the PPCRV Command Center inside the University of Santo Tomas campus.

Villanueva said she has never seen an election with more than 65 million registered voters with a very high turnout rate.

“We don’t have that number yet but we’re expecting maybe 80 percent [turnout rate],” she said.

The PPCRV, through the help of its volunteers, is conducting a parallel count of votes from the recently concluded May 9 national and local elections.

PPCRV Co-IT Director William Yu, in the same forum, said PPCRV’s mandate is to monitor and flag mismatches in elections returns and report them to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Yu said their mandate allows them to do the unofficial parallel count but they are not obliged to finish every single precinct.

“But we will encode as long as the ERs arrive and as long as you volunteers continue to show up. Maybe next week we’ll transfer to a smaller venue but we do continue encoding the ERs. We don’t stop until it’s done,” Yu told the PPCRV volunteers.

In the 2019 midterm elections, Yu recalled that three mismatches were seen out of the 67 percent encoded precincts.

“The three mismatches were endorsed to the Comelec. Overall match rate was 99.995 percent, so very high match rate. We expect the match rates to be high because if there was no tampering along the way, there should be no difference at all in the encoding. That’s the whole point of the activity and this is the reason why your activity today is very, very important,” he said.

“This is a verification activity,” Yu added.

“The number that’s here [pointing to the transparency server screen]. We are supposed to validate the ERs and every time there is a mismatch, we will flag it. Now that’s the reason why we do a double-blind encoding,” he added.

Yu said they get reports through the PPCRV’s call center. Depending on the issue or concern, the PPCRV documents it first then verify.

“Medyo mahirap po ngayon kasi maraming (It’s hard now because of) fake news so we have to verify the issues. Once we get the details, we send it to the appropriate coordinator and we will ask them to verify the issue,” Yu said.

He said the worst cases reported to them are referred to the Comelec.

“So the responsibility of fixing issues ay hindi po sa atin sa (is not on us) PPCRV but we do our best to help with nearly 500,000 volunteers nationwide,” Yu said. (PNA)