Lente to replace Namfrel as Comelec’s partner for random manual audit
MANILA, Philippines — The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) will be the new partner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the random manual audit (RMA) of the May 13 elections following the pullout of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel).
Comelec Commissioner Luie Tito Guia announced this on Friday, three days before the midterm election.
Guia, the Commissioner-in-Charge of the RMA, said they got in touch with other groups to fill the void left by Namfrel after the latter declined its accreditation as citizens’ arm for the elections because Comelec denied its request to access key election data.
“It was Lente who said yes, but the condition is they are also willing to accept other groups to help the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants because they are well-versed in the process of auditing,” Guia said in a press briefing.
Lente Executive Director Rona Ann Caritos said the group, which is composed of volunteer lawyers, law students, and paralegals trained to monitor elections, is ready despite the time limitation.
“We have trained volunteers to act as supervisors of teachers that will be auditing the ballots in the random manual audit. We’re ready and prepared despite the time limitations,” Caritos added. (Editor: Eden E. Estopace, senior copy editor)
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