MANILA -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Monday dismissed concerns that massive brownouts would lead to failure of election on May 10 and pave the way for Arroyo to remain in power.

Macalintal assured that the problem on power shortage has nothing to do with Arroyo’s plan on 2010 and there will be no holdover as the President will step down on June 30 when the new President assumes her post.

He said, as election lawyer, he also believed that there will be a successful election on May 10 whether several feared for the first conduct of automated election in the country.

He reminded that the election on 2010 is not purely automated and manual voting could always be a fallback.

“What is only automated is the counting of ballots and canvassing of returns,” he said. “So if the fear 30 percent failure of PCOS (precinct count optical scan) to function happens, we'd still be 70 percent automated which means 70 percent faster than the manual polls. As to the 30 percent failed PCOS, the voting being manual, then we would have a manual count and manual canvass of this 30 percent.”

“In other words, even if all the PCOS failed, there'd be no failure because there will still be voting by manually shading the ballots and manually counting and canvassing which will be faster than the old type of manual election since the automated ballots would only be shaded and voters will not to write the names of candidates,” he added. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)