Palace confident Comelec can hold credible polls despite hacking
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - April 24, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Amid the breach by hackers of the poll body’s 55-million voter database, Malacañang yesterday expressed its full trust and confidence in the Commission on Elections (Comelec)’s ability to supervise the May 9 synchronized presidential, senatorial and local elections.

”The government is confident that the Comelec will do the necessary moves to strengthen the integrity of the automated polls on May 9,” Press Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

He told state-run radio dzRB that the poll body conducted mock polls over the weekend to test and find out whether there would be glitches in the system, so that problems can be addressed soonest.

Coloma, who heads the Presidential Communications Operations Office, urged Filipinos to remain vigilant and help the government ensure  clean, orderly and credible national elections.

With just a couple of weeks before the May 9 elections, some local candidates are allegedly resorting to different tactics to cheat and ensure their victory.

There were reports that supporters of local candidates in some cities and municipalities conduct bogus biometrics and threaten voters who will not vote for their candidates.

House Minority leader Rep. Ronaldo Zamora said they have received information that certain candidates in San Juan are doing unauthorized biometrics and voters’ validation that the Comelec has stopped.

“This is completely false and constitutes an electoral offense punishable by law,” Zamora said as he called on the Comelec to investigate and stop the irregularity.

Based on the information they received, Zamora said, fake biometrics are being used by some candidates in several barangay halls in San Juan.

Voters who are handed fake biometrics data were given P500 to P1,000 and threatened with a different payback if they do not vote for a particular candidate. – With Mayen Jaymalin, Paolo Romero

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