MANILA, Philippine — Putting a “smiley” in the ballots during mock elections is definitely not making the Commission on Elections (Comelec) happy.
This is the reason why the Comelec is reluctant to hold another mock automated election despite the reported glitches of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines during the previous mock polls, its executive director, Attorney Jose Tolentino Jr., told an oversight committee hearing on automated election system on Thursday.
“Noong nag conduct kami ng simulation sa Comelec, yung mga participants really wanted to find out what will happen if they place a dot on the oval,” Tolentino said.
“Ang discussion is, why should we conduct another simulation when the participants will only make a mockery out of it like putting a smiley, putting a big line on all the ovals just to find out what will happen…”
“Actually, never kaming nagkaroon ng instance na kapag nag simulate kami, tama ang pagka-shade. Talagang sinasadya nila just to find out how the PCOS will read …” he pointed out.
So when Dasmarinas Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr, co-chairman of the committee, asked if the poll body would still hold another mock election before the May 2013 elections , Tolentino said: “The matter is still being discussed with the commissioners. We are divided.”
Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares, who attended the meeting, expressed surprise that the poll body has yet to debate whether or not to conduct a mock election.
“What’s the debate about? Anong issue ag pinagdedebatehan?” Colmenares asked.
And when Tolentino explained how the participants made a “mockery” of their last mock polls, Colmenares said, “But I think the reason you’re conducting this simulated elections is to test its actual condition…”
“But you see, the credibility of the mock election is under question tapos yun lang naman ang dahilan baka maglagay na naman ng smiley, napakababaw na dahilan para hindi i-conduct…E di sabhn n yo lahat na nandun na seryosohin nyo. It’s not a big deal…”
“Nagulat ako…akala ko you’re talking of budget, pera,” Colmenares added.