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Poll watchdog hopes for dialogue between SC, Comelec

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MANILA, March 14, 2016— A Church-backed poll watchdog is hoping for a dialogue between the  Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court to iron out issues hounding the polls.

Henrietta "Tita" T. de Villa, chairperson of Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) (Photo: Raymond Sebastian)

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said the problem would not have come to this point had the Comelec initiated moves to reach out to the SC.

“There just wasn’t an opportunity for the Supreme Court and the Comelec to talk,” said Henrietta de Villa, PPCRV chairperson in Filipino.

Cramming preparations

She told Radio Veritas that there is not enough time to implement the SC order to enable the receipt-printing feature of the vote counting machines (VCM).

With two months to go before the May 9 polls, the Comelec is cramming to overhaul its year-long preparations in just 60 days.

“The issuance of receipt is not just an on and off (process). You need to update the hardware and software (components of the VCM),” explained De Villa.

These include reconfiguring more than 92,500 memory cards, bidding out an additional 1.2 million rolls of thermal paper, and the procurement of more than 92,500 receipt receptacles.

The Comelec said it also needs to retrain more than 277,000 election inspectors.

Promoting vote-buying?

De Villa insists the the SC ruling will bring more disadvantages than advantages to the electoral process.

She reiterated that the receipts would encourage more vote-buying and prolong the voting process at polling centers.

“Vote-buying and vote-selling will definitely become more rampant because you now have a proof of your votes. It will become a business,” added De Villa.

“In our meetings, many also opposed the printing of receipt because, aside from the irregularities, it will slow down the voting process,” she said. (CBCP News) 


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