INDEPENDENT candidate Jamby Madrigal is the only presidential candidate who responded to the poll body’s invitation, as she will personally visit the ballot printing office and the warehouse of automated machines Thursday.
Earlier, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) urged all presidential and vice presidential bets to visit the National Printing Office (NPO) and the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna so they will be more informed of its preparations for the first-ever automated elections.
Other presidential aspirants, however, have sent representatives from their political parties.
“We got confirmation that representatives of all political parties will join Comelec in visiting the National Printing Office and the Cabuyao warehouse with Smartmatic-TIM,” said Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.
Vice presidential bets Jay Sonza of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) and Dominador Chipeco of Ang Kapatiran Party will also be attending Thursday's visit.
Bangon Pilipinas Movement Bro. Eddie Villanueva, meanwhile, will be sending one of his senatorial candidates.
Larrazabal told reporters Wednesday that some candidates cited their tight schedule as the reason for failing to join Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM officials in its visit.
The commissioner hopes that the visit will answer the questions of the candidates and will allow a "better coordination" between the poll body and the various political parties.
“We welcome their acceptance of our invitation so that they themselves will see the preparations for the upcoming elections,” said Larrazabal.
In a recent presidential debate organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap), five of the seven presidentiables said they do not have confidence over the first-ever automated elections to be implemented by the commission.
Lakas-Kampi-CMD bet Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro, Liberal Party candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Jamby Madrigal, environmentalist Nicanor Perlas, and evangelist candidate Eddie Villanueva all said they are worried over the success of the May polls.
Although he called the project ambitious, only Senator Richard Gordon expressed that he believes the commission can report a successful conduct of elections.
Kapatiran Party standard bearer JC Delos Reyes expected "regularity" in the polls.
Comelec earlier toured members of the joint congressional oversight committee on automated elections in the two facilities. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)