Comelec to decide on sanctions over clerical error in Cotabato voters tally
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Election (Comelec) has yet to decide if it would impose sanctions on officers allegedly responsible for the discrepancy in the number of voters reflected in the certificate of canvass in Cotabato City.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said on Wednesday that it is up to the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) to decide if they will sanction the three election officers who affixed their signature in the document.
They were identified as Rommel Rama, Mariam Mastura-Linsangan, and Concepcion Balawag.
“I feel that the form was filled out ahead of time, at inihabol na lang ‘yung result (and the result was included later). Malinaw na may clerical error na naganap (It is clear that there is clerical error),” Jimenez told reporters in a phone patch interview.
“Rest assured it will be corrected by the National Board of Canvassers. It was a clerical error, and we leave it to the discretion of the National Board of Canvassers kung anong level ng discipline ang i-implement, kung meron man (on what level of discipline will be imposed),” Jimenez added.
Jimenez issued the statement after the COC in Cotabato City showed that there were 71,963 registered voters and 39,024 cast their votes in the city. However, according to the Project of Precincts list, the number of registered voters in Cotabato is actually 113,751, of which 61,676 cast their votes.
Jimenez stressed that the discrepancy in the number of voters in the COC was a “clerical error.”
The National Board of Canvassers, led by Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, will start canvassing the BOL votes at 2 p.m. on Thursday after being deferred twice.
It was initially scheduled on Tuesday morning, but the session was immediately “adjourned” after the Comelec did not receive the certificates from Mindanao. They were delivered only to the poll body’s head office in Intramuros, Manila on Wednesday afternoon.
The canvassing of votes was moved to Wednesday at 1 p.m., but was again deferred due to the same reason. /ee
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