MANILA, Philippines–The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has blamed bad telecommunications signals in many areas across the country for the slackening pace of the releasing of the initial results of the midterm polls.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said that the slowdown in the transmission of partial returns was due to the lack of or intermittent signal in several towns, which he declined to identify for security purposes.
“What is the contingency if there’s no signal? We take the CF (compact flash) cards, transport it to the municipal (board of canvassers) to do the transmission, so we lose two hours, and this is not few, so we get delayed,” he told a briefing on Tuesday.
But while the direct transmission of results to the Comelec’s transparency server was slowing down, he said the official “ladderized” Comelec canvassing was already moving at a good pace, “and that becomes the basis of the operation,” Brillantes said.
Brillantes said the public should understand that the transmission of election returns to the Comelec servers was moving at a relatively good speed.
“When I was a practicing lawyer, it would already be one week, or two weeks, and we hadn’t seen anyone proclaimed,” he said.
“The problem is we got used to what happened in 2010 (elections). We were surprised [by the quick proclamations],” he said at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, where the national canvassing was being held.
“Now we want everyone proclaimed in five hours. Now we’re already impatient and it hasn’t been two days,” he complained.
“It’s not slow. It’s really fast. Just to make a clarification, in fact, the transmission of the unofficial results to the transparency server, to which PCOS transmits directly, was really fast after 7 p.m. [Monday],” he noted
“In 30 minutes, [it reached] 20 percent [of the vote]. In one hour, 30 percent. It has even risen to 75 percent,” he said. But he admitted that after 75 percent, “it has slowed down,” due to the bad signal in many areas.
The Comelec chair earlier said the National Board of Canvassers (BOC) was targeting the proclamation of all 12 senators at 7 p.m. Wednesday but admitted later this might be adjusted to the first six winning candidates.
He said the BOC was moving with dispatch in the canvassing of the senatorial votes, which was why it suspended the canvassing of the party-list groups because of confusion over the procedures to take with the 12 party-list groups the Comelec had disqualified.