MANILA, April 23, 2015— A Catholic priest said the country cannot afford to have a “no-election” scenario next year, insisting that would create “more harm” to the nation.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP Committee on Public Affairs, said next year’s presidential election is crucial and Filipino voters are looking forward to it.
“The people would not allow a no-election scenario because it will deprive them of choosing the leaders that will best replace the inefficient and corrupt officials that we have today,” he said.
The Dominican priest made the statement after the Supreme Court invalidated the Commission on Election’s Php 268.8 million contract for repair of voting machines with Smartmatic-TIM, raising fears that the 2016 elections might be cancelled.
Observers said the SC ruling has put in jeopardy the repair of the 81,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) units that will be used in the 2016 polls.
Secillano urged the Comelec to find other ways to ensure that next year’s general elections will push through, even if it means going back to manual polls.
“It’s either that we revert to manual voting or bid out the repair of the machines in time for the elections next year. In either case, those concerned must exercise due diligence and prudence in hastily making a decision as time is catching up on us already,” he added.
The priest also called on other concerned government agencies to help the poll body do its job, saying that the conduct of a credible election is everybody’s responsibility.
“It may serve us well if our officials will cooperate with one another in coming up with the most logical and effective solution that will respond to this predicament,” he said. (CBCPNews)