The election committee of the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (Pace) assured the integrity and transparency of their election on January 27.
Lucilla Perartilla, election officer, and Al Ceralbo, who is the chair of Pace election committee, said they are following the mechanics and guidelines for conducting the election.
"We will use the ballot boxes used by the Comelec (Commission on Elections). They're empty and padlocked. The ballots are pre-numbered and correspond according to the numbers of the members who will vote. We are neutral and capable of conducting the canvassing of votes, and we have tabulators who are independent. We assure to maintain the integrity of the election," Perartilla said.
She said, "we assure that this election would be honest, credible and transparent. I have been working with the province
for more than 20 years. Our accountability is not for the officers but for the general union. Candidates will also have poll watchers."
The election committee made the assurance after some members of the candidates raised some concerns regarding the upcoming general assembly and election.
In a letter dated January 24, Chito Magalona, Remy Grace Manalo, and Raquel Magbanua representing their respective departments, raised the fact that the designated members of the tabulation team who will tally the votes are from the Office of the Provincial Engneer (PEO).
"We firmly believe that this decision from the Pace election committee will create doubt among the voting members and be unfair on the part of the other candidates since four of the candidates running for board of directors are from PEO. In line with this, we would like to reiterate the suggestion stated in our first letter, that is, to seek assistance from the Office of the Provincial Accountant to uphold fairness, transparency, and integrity. Furthermore, we respectfully request the replacement of the members of the tabulation committee with employees from other offices who are equally capable or even much more qualified," the letter stated.
On Thursday, January 25, Joy Albaran from the Provincial Engineer's Office was reassigned to Human Resources, and Annabelle Demisana, HRM Assistant, withdrew as tabulators because of the letter request for their replacement, "wherein some candidates underestimated our capabilities of handling the election proceedings and questioned our integrity," they stated.
"Of course we do not agree with them but then we do not want ourselves to get involved in this dirty politics with malicious and suspicious minds of some candidates," they further stated in their letter to Ceralbo.*