Palace confident poll body will resolve glitches-A A +A
Monday, February 4, 2013
MALACANANG is confident that Commission on Elections (Comelec) would be able to resolve glitches it encountered during the mock elections last Saturday in time for the actual elections on May 13.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Executive is taking the word of the Comelec that the automated elections this year will be executed smoothly and honestly.
"They (Comelec) have committed that they will be able to solve the glitches and we expect them to do so," Lacierda said.
"Certainly, we hope that by election time, these glitches will be resolved and there would be no glitches that would question the integrity of the elections," he added.
Poll watchdog Kontra Daya earlier casts doubt on the Comelec's effectiveness to conduct another automated elections this year.
However, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes appealed to the critics of the automated elections not to sensationalize the glitches during the dry runs over the weekend, saying the purpose of the mock elections was to correct the imperfections.
The poll body official assured that they will correct the glitches.
Lacierda, meanwhile, said that this is not the first time Comelec is going to oversee such a system of voting and the public is also familiar with it.
"I am sure no one is going to question the intent of the determination of Comelec to prove itself as an arbiter of peaceful, orderly and honest elections," the Palace official said.
The Comelec encountered technical problems in some precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, like rejection of ballots, during last Saturday's mock polls in several schools in the country.
The poll body said the glitches should become a cause of alarm since it could be addressed before the election day itself.
A party-list lawmaker, meantime, urged Monday the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System (COCAES) to review the glitches encountered during the mock elections conducted by the poll body over the weekend.
"The mock results showed one thing—the problems that beset the PCOS machines in the 2010 elections are the same problems that we will encounter in 2013 except that its worse. It was a failure and not a success," Bayan Muna party-list Representative Neri Colmenares said in a statement.
In at least one voting center, the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine had to be replaced after it rejected several test ballots.
Comelec also reported delayed transmission of election results citing poor signal in areas where the mock elections were held.
"The COCAES should immediately investigate this considering that there will already be long queues in the precinct since Comelec has increased the voters for each clustered precinct to 1,000 voters. Difficulty in inserting the ballots will result in overcrowding and delay. Delay is an invitation to fraud," Colmenares noted.
The Bayan Muna party-list lawmaker said the COCAES should continue to convene during the election period even if Congress will go into recess this week.
United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial candidate and Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay, for her part, said the Comelec must investigate the cause of poor signals.
Magsaysay added that the poll body should ensure that election officers are oriented on the standard procedures should technical difficulties arise during the actual polls.
"We at the UNA stand by our plea for decent and honest elections, from the campaign up to the actual conduct of the polls. The Comelec should not dismiss issues like this as trivial there are only several months left before the actual vote," she said in a press statement. (Jill Beltran/FP/Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)