Comelec mulls appointing another citizens’ arm



The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has floated the idea of accrediting two citizens’ arms for the midterm elections next year.

While the Comelec en banc has decided to retain the Church-affiliated Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) as its citizens’ arm for the coming balloting, it was also looking at approving the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections’ (Namfrel) application to be a watchdog.

“It is still possible [but] tasks have to be delineated to avoid duplication,” said Commissioner Rene Sarmiento in an interview with reporters.

On Friday, the en banc issued a resolution penned by Sarmiento announcing that the PPCRV’s application to be the citizens’ arm of the election body for the May 2013 elections had been granted.

Sarmiento, in the ruling, cited the PPCRV’s track record as an “established” organization with membership across the Philippines and as one of the commission’s “staunch allies” in ensuring clean, peaceful, honest and orderly elections.

In retaining the Catholic group as its citizens’ arm, the Comelec also said the PPCRV had demonstrated its capacity to promote the public interest.

Earlier, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. disclosed he was in discussions with the PPCRV and Namfrel on what specific tasks each group would perform in case the election body decided to accredit both.

“I talked to them to find out what task they would prefer in case we accredit two citizens’ arms,” Brillantes said in an earlier interview.

For its part, the PPCRV has asked that it be allowed to participate in the random manual audit as in the first automated elections in May 2010, the Comelec chief said.

The en banc has yet to rule on the petition filed by Namfrel seeking accreditation as a citizens’ arm. In 2010, the Comelec denied its petition, citing duplication of work.

As an accredited citizens’ arm, the PPCRV has been tasked with performing the following: Carry out poll watching in various precincts; give assistance to voters on Election Day, particularly senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, detainees and indigenous peoples, among others.

The PPCRV is also expected to assist the Comelec in voter information and education campaigns in every town, city and province in the country.

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  • randyaltarejos

    Tap the youth sector as election watchdog, too. With the introduction of modern mobile technology, the youth can use their cellphones to record election-related violence and other illegal activities at the polls.

  • PikonNaKami

    “Staunch ally” is an understatement.  PPCRV, Comelec and Smartmatic have been the axis of evil since the 2008 ARMM elections.  Henrietta De Villa, PPCRV chair has been acting as the sales person of Smamrtmatic.  Now that Smartmatic has admitted that they DO NOT OWN the PCOS technology used in 2010 and violated the procurement law by subcontracting the technology to Dominion of Canada, how much of these information was known to De Villa? And guess who got the contract from Smartmatic to be their PR agency?  The PR agency belonging to De Villa’s daughter.

    De Villa was the only person allowed by Smartmatic to enter its Command Center in 2010. And when the other Board Members of PPCRV complained, De Villa unilaterally announced all positions vacant except hers.

    Staunch ally they are indeed.

    I will not be surprised if PPCRV  will again adamantly oppose the accreditation of NAMFREL as they did in 2010.

  • Gerry Randel

    Tungkol po ito sa isyu ng pagbibigay ng Comelec firearm ban permit ng Comelec. Pakasabi sana  po kay Chariman Sixto Brillantes na sana ay huwag niyang kakalimutang isama ang mga retiradong miembro ng PNP. Ang mga retiradong pulis pong ito ay naglingkod ng tapat sa ating bayan at karamihan pa sa kanila ay ibinuwis ang kanilang buhay sa pagtupad sa kanilang tungkulin. Marami po sa kanila ang may mga nakalabang mga VIP’s na sangkot sa mga ilegal na gawain at mga sindikato na sangkot din sa pagbebenta ng ilegal na droga, ilegal na sugalan at iba pang mga labag sa batas na gawain. Hindi naman po kaila kay Chairman Brillantes na maraming retiradong pulis sa ngayon ang napapatay na ang mga suspek ay itong mga nasagasaan niyang mga malalaking tao at sindikato noong nasa serbisyo pa ang kawawang pulis.  Kapag hindi po sila binigyan ng comelec firearm ban permit, lalo pong malalagay sa panganib ang kanilang mga buhay dahil hindi sila makakapagdala ng sarili nilang lisensyadong baril. 
    Kaya po ako, sa ngalan ng libo libong retiradong miembro ng PNP ay nakikiusap kay Chairman Brillantes na sana ay bigyan din niya ng pagkakataon ang mga taong ito na magkaroon ng comelec firearm ban exemption ngayon darating na halalan. 
    Marami pong salamat.

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