Comelec urged to issue resolution on election flaws

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2019 09:41 AM

Members of Tindig Pilipinas picket in front of PICC in Pasay City on May 17, 2019, questioning Comelec of issues during the midterm elections such as broken SD cards and VCMs and the 7-hour gap in data transmission of election results. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) should issue a resolution addressing flaws of the midterm elections to allay public concern, former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said Sunday.

Sereno said the poll body should assure the Filipino electorate of the credibility of the May 13 elections following concerns on thousands of faulty vote counting machines and delays in the delivery of real-time election results to the media.

"The Filipino people are waiting for assurance that it seriously intends to investigate and provide answers to the many valid questions concerning the conduct of elections," Sereno said in a statement.

Sereno noted that there are "too many complaints, too many disconnects" over the recent polls, as she urged the Comelec to issue a resolution detailing steps and a timeline to address concerns that marred the elections.

"The people see the wide gap between the standards that should have been observed, and what actually happened, and they are expecting the Comelec to make itself accountable," she said.

"It is humbly suggested that the Comelec forthwith issue a resolution embodying legally actionable steps and a timeline to address these questions, to allay our people’s fears and assure them that electoral messes can be remedied," she said.

In pursuing the suggested resolution, Sereno said the Comelec should provide guarantees that the poll body " is doing everything to remedy the palpable lack of confidence in the integrity of the national electoral contest."

A total of 1,665 SD cards were replaced in the midterm polls compared to just 120 in 2016, while at least 961 vote-counting machines were also replaced out of a total 85,000, the Comelec earlier said.

The poll body also faced criticism over the delay of the delivery of real-time election results to its media partners, which the poll body attributed to an application error in the transparency server. A Senate inquiry will look into the poll glitches on June 3. 

"Ideally, this resolution should come forth before the national canvass ends and the putative winners proclaimed," Sereno said.

The Comelec on Saturday said it is postponing the proclamation of winning senators and party-list groups on Sunday since it has yet to finish canvassing votes.

The Comelec en banc meanwhile has yet to come up with a decision soon on the petitions of several groups to suspend canvassing.