Cebu News

Comelec not yet ready for polls

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The regional director of the Commission on Elections in Central Visayas has admitted that they are not yet ready for the elections following the recent Supreme Court decision requiring the printing of vote receipts on the election day.

 Lawyer Jose Nick Mendros, however, said preparations are on the way to ensure the successful conduct of the elections on May 9. 

 “No, were not yet ready we are preparing for the elections,” Mendros told the media in a press briefing during the Regional Joint Security Coordinating Council Meeting.

 The high court’s decision affected the preparations because the poll body has to start from scratch like training the members of the Board of Elections Inspectors and the Board of Canvassers.

 “We are not yet finished in the training with the BEI, halfway pa nga lang  tayo we have yet to train the BOC. Sabihin ko sayo, we are not yet ready but we are on the right track,” he said.

According to Mendros, the SC decision will affect the operations on the day of the elections because printing the receipts is time consuming and the more voters are in a precinct the more the voting process will be delayed.

“The vote receipt, it will take at least one minute in each voter, extended ang time ng exposure ng teachers ng security personnel sa presinto. Because of this new feature made-delay yan…which could have been prevented if wala ang printing,” Mendros said.

Mendros said they will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court, saying they will do the necessary adjustments.

“The decision of the Supreme Court forms part of the law of the land,” he explained.

Mendros said the system would somehow defeat the purpose of poll automation which is to expedite the voting process and the counting.

He said the Comelec, Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are working together to ensure peaceful elections.

“And I will assure you on Election Day the PNP, AFP, and the Comelec are ready to conduct elections in this region,” Mendros said.

RJSCC co-chairman Col. Arnulfo Matanguihan said that as deputies of the Comelec they are prepared to support the agency and the police. Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan, co-chairman of RJSCC, also said that no area in Central Visayas has been declared as election watchlist area.

“We will be ready to cope up. Sa May full deployment na, we expect wala nang tulogan,” Gaerlan said.

Use of barangay vehicle in the campaign

Meanwhile, a barangay councilman is set to file criminal complaint against Tabok Barangay Captain Dario Tariman in Mandaue City for using government vehicle and employees in postering activities of local candidates belonging to the Liberal Party.

“File-an gyud na nako. Nangonsulta pa ko ron sa among legal counsel. Di man to pagtangtang ila, kundi pagpanaod,” said councilman Windyl Alilin.

Alilin said he saw Thadeo Iwayan, Boboy Tundag, and Tabok barangay employee Atil Perez loading three LP tarpaulins bearing the faces of Mandaue City mayoralty candidate Luigi Quisumbing, his running mate Carlo Fortuna and their entire slate into the barangay multicab with plate number SJZ 471.

 He said the three campaign tarps were then placed in front of barangay councilman Nestor Cortes’s house near Graphix Forwarder and near his house.

 “As in kakita jud ko. Ako gani’ng giingnan ang mga nagtaod, ‘Ngiga gyud ninyo, truck man nas barangay inyong gigamit. Dayun si Thadeo gipasibat niya ang driver,” he said.

 Tariman denied using government vehicle in postering activity. He claimed that the tanods were plucking out illegally posted campaign materials. — (FREEMAN)

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