MANILA, Philippines -- The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said it has not, and would not oppose the petition of fellow poll watchdog, the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) to be accredited as the Commission on Elections' citizens? arm in the May 10, 2010 national elections.
But the Catholic Church-based PPCRV insisted that the fourth copy of the official election returns from every precinct should go to them since they were accredited first by the Comelec.
PPCRV secretary general Clifford Sorita said they were accredited by the Comelec last October to be its official citizens' arm for the first nationwide automated elections in May.
?We are not opposing Namfrel's petition (before the Comelec) to be accredited. Our contention is with the terms of their accreditation,? Sorita said in an interview over Church-ran Radio Veritas Tuesday.
He maintained that PPCRV has become entitled to receive the fourth copy of the official election returns since it was accredited first by the Comelec.
?Since Namfrel also wants that copy, our position, is we have been accredited since October so why should they ask for the same copy? That will already be a duplication,? Sorita said.
But he stressed that PPCRV would still want to have Namfrel accredited as an official poll watchdog to better deter election cheating.
?We are not objecting that they guard (the election precincts) because everybody is free to guard the elections. The more poll watchers, the better,? Sorita said.
Since it was organized to safeguard the historic 1986 presidential snap elections, Namfrel has been accredited by Comelec as its citizens' arm every elections. Namfrel conducts a parallel quick count using an official copy of the election returns from every precinct.
Namfrel spokesman Eric Alvia in an earlier interview admitted that they have been ?preparing for the worst? since Comelec has not yet acted on their petition for accreditation.
Alvia said the Comelec has not acted on their petition due to opposition from its former partner watchdog, PPCRV as well as from election lawyer Sixto Brillante who represented the late action star Fernando Poe Jr. in the 2004 presidential elections.
Henrietta De Villa, the former ambassador to the Vatican, used to head both the PPCRV and the Namfrel until she resigned from Namfrel last September to focus on PPCRV.
Former Bangko Sentral governor Jose Cuisia Jr. has taken over as acting Namfrel chairman.