‘No results yet from 18,499 PCOS machines’

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Nine days after the elections, there are still 18,499 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines that have yet to transmit results, the poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) reported yesterday.

The machines account for 11,458,971 votes that have not yet been accounted for.

Based on the data culled as of May 21, PPCRV chair Henrietta de Villa said out of the 78,166 PCOS machines distributed in the cluster precincts, there were still 18,499 PCOS that have not yet transmitted results via the transparency server.

There are 52,333,801 registered voters.

De Villa, however, said the more than 11.4 million unaccounted for votes would not affect the 12 winners in the recent Senate race.

While there were more than 52 million registered voters in the midterm polls, De Villa explained the estimated voter turnout was only about 70 percent.

So if there was only an estimated 70 percent voter turnout, they would have to recalculate and get the 70 percent of the more than 11 million registered votes that have not yet been transmitted, which De Villa estimated to be roughly about seven million.

While the numbers would not affect the Senate race, De Villa said it could make an impact in the local elections because a 200-vote or a 500-vote difference could affect the chances of a candidate.

The PPCRV-Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) figures also revealed Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) had the most number of PCOS machines that have yet to transmit their results with 2,169 and 2,033, respectively.

All the 337 PCOS allocated for the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) have yet to transmit their election returns (ERs).

They are also still waiting for the electronic transmission of ERs from 689 PCOS machines from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); 326 from Caraga region, 1,090 from Ilocos region; 929 from Cagayan; 1,320 from Central Luzon; 662 from Mindoro (Oriental and Occidental), Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan (Mimaropa) Region; 704 from the National Capital Region (NCR); 1,009 from Bicol; 1,170 PCOS machines from Western Visayas; 913 from Central Visayas region; 1,366 from Eastern Visayas; 1,122 from Zamboanga peninsula; 1,099 from Northern Mindanao; 814 from Davao region; and 747 from South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and General Santos (SOCCSKSARGEN).

Aside from the electronically transmitted ERs, the PPCRV is also doing a manual count.

As of yesterday, about 50,000 ERs have been sent to their command center at Pope Pius XII at UN Avenue, Manila.

De Villa is targeting to receive and tally the figures from at least 58,000 out of the 78,166 of the ERs nationwide.

She also asked their volunteers to immediately send the ERs to them through their courier partners.

“I am appealing that you send to us whatever ERs you may have, do not wait to complete all the ERs in your area before sending the bulk to us. Do not wait for the bulk. If you cannot send it through Air21 or Mail or More, use LBC and we will reimburse the cost,” she said.

Meanwhile, losing senatorial candidate Eduardo Villanueva called for the creation of a truth commission to look into the glitches in the May 13 elections.

Villanueva stressed he was not interested in contesting the results but believed the processes that led to the errors and irregularities must be exposed.

“We call on the government to create an independent investigative body to look into the automated election system that was plagued by numerous technical glitches and might have disenfranchised millions of voters,” he said.

He said a truth commission is the perfect venue to allow the public to learn the cause of the errors and glitches that marred the last elections.

By forming the truth commission, Villanueva said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would be able to avert similar problems in the 2016 presidential elections.

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