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This Computer Simulation Shows How Robredo Caught Up With Marcos

A computer science professional visualized how the difference in vote transmission rates among regions initially gave Senator Bongbong the early lead
by Khatrina Bonagua | May 12, 2016
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We’re sure you’ve seen those graphs and mathematical analyses from your Facebook feed explaining the rise of Congresswoman Leni Robredo in the vice presidential race. If you haven't, here's Exhibit AExhibit BExhibit CExhibit D, and Exhibit E

All those numbers, and charts (even innocent breakfast favorites, Maling and corned beef, somehow got involved) left us scratching our mathematically-disinclined heads in confusion. Help!

Lo and behold, someone has finally come to our aid: a computer science professional specializing in data science who wishes to remain anonymous. The programmer, a Naga native and known Robredo supporter, whipped up a computer simulation model showing how the difference in vote transmission rates among regions gave Marcos the early lead. Territories that Marcos had won were counted first, but later regions went to Robredo, which allowed her to eventually take pole position.


It's a useful visualization of a concept that may be harder to explain in words. In the programmer's own words, this is how it happened: “Marcos areas transmitted first, garnering an early lead. Robredo caught up when her areas transmitted successfully.”

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You can see the simulation in action here. 

For our explanation of the model, read below. 

What happened earlier?

(Screenshot from the model)

During the early part of the transmission, Marcos regions [Region I (Ilocos), Region II (Cagayan Valley), and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)] transmitted faster than the rest of the other regions. This means they reached 100 percent transmission faster, resulting in Marcos’ sizable early lead over Robredo.

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When the Marcos regions finally reached 100 percent transmission, Marcos' numbers began to slow down. Eventually, the pro-Robredo regions—Bicol Region, the Visayas regions, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)—caught up. When these regions reached 100 percent transmission, it turns out that Robredo indeed have more votes. 

How accurate is this?

“While computer simulations are not 100% accurate, they provide us with useful insights on what is plausible,” the creator said.

The votes were modelled from the data captured on May 11, 2016 3:34 AM from the COMELEC-GMA transparency server. This is data you've seen already in the unofficial tallies available on sites such as GMA and Rappler—the simulation only visualizes how it was not impossible for Robredo to catch up with Marcos. 

With the war still raging between the supporters of both camps, the simulation definitely makes it easier to explain a concept that would take a ton of words to explain.

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