They spent so much but showed very little for it. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) are being asked to explain where the P148.4 million they allegedly spent for the overseas absentee voting went with only 15 percent of voters abroad actually casting their ballots in the May 13 elections. Sen. Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, on Thursday said he would file the appropriate resolution for a review of the Overseas Absentee Voting Act (OAV) when the 16th Congress convenes in July. Drilon said in the weekly Senate news forum the turnout among the 737,759 registered Filipino voters abroad was “dismal to say the least.”
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of the Philippines.
Philippines: Comelec ‘shortcuts’ made votes vulnerable to manipulation – election watchdogs | Bulatlat
Dagdag-bawas (vote padding-shaving) became notorious during the manual counting of votes, especially during the 2004 presidential elections. But again, suspicions of dagdag-bawas are resurfacing because of what poll watchdogs described as numerous violations of the poll automation law. Given the preparation and decisions made by the Comelec — from avoiding real review of the source code of the programs being used to read votes and transmit the same, to disabling security features of poll automation at nearly every step – there are numerous potentials for automated cheating. Or in the language of IT experts of election watchdog AES Watch, instances when votes are ‘vulnerable to manipulation.’ As the canvassing of votes got stalled repeatedly by transmission problems and glitches, by Saturday May 1, or five days after elections, some 20-percent of election returns are still to be canvassed.
The Philippines held elections on Monday seen as crucial for President Benigno Aquino’s bold reform agenda, as deadly violence and graft-tainted candidates underlined the nation’s deep-rooted problems. Glitches marred the start of voting when at least 100 machines malfunctioned in various polling precincts throughout the country including Metro Manila, the Philippines chief election officer reported. But lawyer Sixto Brilliantes, the chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), insisted the glitches had no major adverse impact on the political exercise as to declare a “failure of elections.” Brilliantes explained they projected that a maximum of 200 voting equipment, known as the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, would malfunction or would not start when polling precincts opened their doors to about 52 million qualified Filipinos at 7am on Monday.
Malfunctioning precinct count optical scanners (PCOS) yesterday compounded the usual concerns of missing voter names, ballot switching, vote buying and violent incidents on election day. Officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), however, agreed that the conduct of elections in the Visayas yesterday was generally peaceful. In Western Visayas, PCOS machines in some precincts in at least 10 areas in Negros Occidental malfunctioned and delayed the voting process, said provincial elections supervisor Wil Arceño. In precincts where the machines were inoperable, the Board of Election Inspectors kept the ballots in a secured envelope to be counted by another machine. Affected were the towns of Pulupandan, Manapla, Ilog, Isabela, and La Castellana as well as the cities of Kabankalan, Cadiz, Silay, Bago and Bacolod. The machines either had defective memory cards or LCD (liquid crystal display) screens. Some did not accept the ballots and others overheated, said Mr. Arceño.
The review of the “source code” that will be used for the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines began at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila on Thursday. The source code refers to the readable computer program that will be used on the 82,000 PCOS machines for scanning ballots on Election Day. Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the review would ensure the credibility of next Monday’s midterm elections. But senatorial candidate Richard Gordon, who has asked the Supreme Court to stop the elections on a question of the “honesty” of the source code, said that with only four days before the balloting, political parties do not have enough time to examine the source code.
Two people died, including the husband of a Central Philippines mayoralty candidate last as violence stepped up days before Filipinos take to the polls for the mid-term elections. A report reaching Manila said Jun Apura and his companion identified only as Espaldon were ambushed by heavily armed men in the village of Anabo in Lemery, Iloilo, mortally wounding the two who later died at a local hospital. Jun Apura is the husband of Mayor Ligaya Apura who is seeking reelection.
Manila officials in the UAE have echoed their call for their 104,295 countrymen registered as voters to participate in the polls, which would be conducted electronically, ahead of April 13 to May 13 fourth overseas absentee voting (OAV) for Philippines’s 2013 mid-term elections. There are 21,645 overseas voters (OVs) in the capital and 82,650 from Dubai and the Northern Emirates, according to the Commission on Elections’ Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters (Comelec-CLOAV) released to the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Dubai three weeks back. There are 950,000 OVs all over the world. Officers and staff from the two Philippine diplomatic missions in the UAE are scheduled to attend the Comelec seminar on the use of the precinct count optical scan machines (PCOSMs) along with their counterparts from Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia as well as Kuwait in Abu Dhabi from April 7 to 9.
A political analyst in Manila has defended the use of optical-scan voting machines in the upcoming Philippine elections after a migrant-rights group questioned their reliability. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are among five Middle East cities where the automated system will be used by the Philippines’ Commission on Elections (Comelec). The others are Kuwait, Riyadh and Jeddah. Overseas voters have one month to cast their votes from April 13, while those in the Philippines will vote on election day, May 13. Precinct Count Optical Scan machines were first used in the May 2010 national elections.
The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) believes the computerized voting machines successfully used in the 2010 elections are flawed and he wants them thoroughly examined before these are used in next year’s midterm elections. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma’s doubts about the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines echo those of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who has been saying for some time that the voting machines are not perfect.
Philippines: Comelec plans to create special body on precinct count optical scan machines | The Philippine Star
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) plans to create a special committee to hear and address the concerns of critics of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines. Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said yesterday the Comelec would have a continuing dialogue with those questioning the decision to purchase and use the PCOS machines in next year’s elections.