Abas said the poll body would undertake a post-election assessment as part of their preparations for the Senate probe.
KJ Rosales
With counting done, Comelec faces Senate probe next
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With all the election winners proclaimed, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is preparing to face a Senate investigation on technical glitches that marred the midterm polls.

“We will just rest for a while and then we will prepare to answer those issues before the Senate,” Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said yesterday.

Abas said the poll body would undertake a post-election assessment as part of their preparations for the Senate probe.

“We want to assess where we had problems and what would be our proposals for 2022,” Abas said.         

He said the assessment will be a holistic evaluation of the elections and not just about the defective secure digital (SD) cards and vote counting machines (VCMs).

Abas insisted the midterm polls were credible and successful despite the reported technical glitches.

“The bottomline for us is there was no cheating,” Abas said, noting the glitches are considered normal in any automated elections.         

The Comelec chief pointed out that only two percent of the SD cards and VCMs used in the 85,000 polling precincts nationwide and overseas malfunctioned. 

“To us, we cannot just focus on the two percent that malfunctioned. We will also look at the 98 percent that were successful. We cannot just place all our resources on the ones malfunctioning,” he said, adding they are willing to face the Senate probe to “clear the air.”

Sen. Koko Pimentel earlier announced that the joint congressional oversight committee on the automated elections system would conduct a hearing on the technical glitches that occurred during the midterm elections.

The Comelec has admitted that the number of VCMs that bogged down tripled in this year’s vote compared to the 2016 polls.

Abas said the glitches should not be taken as proof of irregularities in the elections. 

Moratorium

Malacañang yesterday called for a moratorium on what it called “excessive politicking” as it greeted the newly proclaimed winners of the senatorial race.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said now is the perfect time for nation-building and to focus on public service.?

“We call on everyone on all sides of the political spectrum to have a moratorium in what appears to most of us as excessive politicking that has only caused more divisions among us,” Panelo said at a press briefing.

“After a grueling battle, it is hoped that the protagonists lay down their political swords, accept the will of the electorate and bow to the majesty of their sovereign voice by giving their preferred choices a chance of leading the country towards progress,” he added.

Panelo expressed confidence the new and incumbent senators would join the President in spurring inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development, implementing the government’s ambitious infrastructure program and working for a society that enjoys lasting peace.

“We express confidence that these newly proclaimed senators will (show) fealty to their oath, be loyal to the Constitution, obedient to the laws of the land.

We are confident that the new senators will do their best as legislators and enact laws which are not only conscientious but beneficial to the welfare of the nation and its citizenry,” he said.

Panelo said the recently concluded election demonstrates the vibrancy of democracy in the Philippines.   – With Alexis Romero ?

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS SHERIFF ABAS
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