Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to seriously address questions raised regarding the conduct of the May 13 midterm polls. The Comelec should particularly explain why the second automated polls seemed to be “out of tune,” Palma said. He issued the call a day after the CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa) issued a statement questioning the last elections. On Tuesday, the Catholic Church’s social action arm said the May elections was a “mockery of our democracy” and the results were “questionable, citing the large-scale vote-buying, disenfranchisement of voters, malfunction of voting machines, corrupted compact flash cards, and transmission failures among others. “Nassa is not blind to the glaring discrepancies and election violations, the highly-suspicious interventions during the canvassing, and the possible manipulation of election results during the lull hours of transmission, canvassing and consolidation of votes,” the statement reads. “In principle, there are many valid points raised because a lot of people thought the elections were okay, but we all know that like in music it was out of tune, which puts into question so many things,” said Palma.
The CBCP head said the Comelec should explain to the people because it is their responsibility to conduct credible and accurate elections.
‘It’s their responsibility to provide answers to these questions that are coming from the people,” he said.
“They should explain so that we can say that the recently concluded poll was credible and that it truly reflected the will of the people,” added Palma.
He said its best that the poll body clarify and evaluate the re-use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines as early as now in preparation for the upcoming polls.
“It’s no longer a question about defective PCOS vs manual. What we want is PCOS that is reliable,” Palma said.
Full Article: Poll integrity questioned.