Poll workers manage arriving ballot boxes from different precincts at the Comelec command center at the Philippine International Convention Center. The National Board of Canvassers started canvassing Tuesday night.
Philstar.com/Efigenio Christopher Toledo
Midterm polls ‘credible’ but probe into glitches needed, says Sotto
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - May 16, 2019 - 1:38pm

MANILA, Philippines — While he believes that the May midterm elections were credible, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is backing the congressional probe into the glitches that raised questions on the integrity of Monday’s polls.  

The joint congressional oversight committee on the automated elections will conduct a hearing into the technical hiccups that marred the midterm polls on June 4. 

“I support it kasi mas maganda naman na malinawan lahat ‘yan,” Sotto said in a press briefing Thursday.

(I support it because it’s good to shed light on everything.)

He added: “Nitong 2019, medyo nag-iba iba ng mga service provider. So magandang makita natin anong mabuti dun sa dati, mabuti sa ngayon at saka paano ba ‘yung bidding in 2022 presidential [elections]. Baka pwedeng i-consider ‘yung suggestion ko na manual ang botohan, transmission ng data ang automated.”

(There have been changes in service provider in this year’s polls. So it would be nice to note what’s good about the previous one, what’s good about the current and the bidding for 2022 presidential elections. Maybe my suggestion to have the voting manual, and transmission of data automated would be considered.)

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, a reelectionist in the midterm polls, called for a probe Wednesday. He lamented the glitches happened despite assurances from  the Commission on Elections of the machines’ dependability.

“This is already our fourth automated elections. Haven’t we learned lessons yet?” Pimentel asked in an interview over dzMM.

‘Avoidable problems’

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian also joined calls for a congressional probe into issues of defective vote counting machines and SD cards and transmission of votes to the transparency server.

“We want to preserve the integrity and credibility of our automated elections. Hence, there is a need to look into the issues encountered by the Comelec during the recently-concluded elections so we can avoid repeating them in succeeding elections,” he said in a release Thursday.

He also lamented the poll body’s failure to prevent “avoidable problems” despite its P10-billion budget.

“Ang laki na ng budget ng Comelec pero ang dami pa ring naging issues. (The Comelec has a hefty budget but there are still a lot of issues). We can't blame the public if they are wary of cheating because the multiple glitches did nothing to allay their fears,” he said.

Comelec said around 400 to 600 of malfunctioning VCMS were reported in this year’s polls. The Department of Education, however, said it has received 1,333 reports of machines that bogged down during the May 13 polls.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with