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Lawyer gets dressing down from Comelec exec during canvassing of votes

/ 06:49 PM May 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — A legal counsel of party-list group Append got a dressing-down from Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon after he made a “speech” during the canvassing of the May 13 votes.

A visibly irked Guanzon shouted at lawyer Romel Bagares, who, in his manifestation during the canvassing, asked the Comelec to grant them access to the election data following a glitch that hit the poll body’s transparency server for several hours on Monday.

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“What is your objection counsel, for the third time?” Guanzon asked the human rights lawyer. “Otherwise, I will move you in contempt for disrespect.”

“You should be seated down now before you get into trouble. You sit down now so we can continue the canvass,” she added.

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After Bagares sat down, Comelec chair Sheriff Abas reminded members of the canvassing that they cannot make a “speech” at the venue.

“I would like to remind everyone that this is canvassing. Your objection should be limited to the seclusion or inclusion, the authenticity or correctness of the canvassing,” Abas said.

“I’m reminding you that this is not an opportunity for you to make a speech here. This is canvassing,” he added.

Abas also noted that they can write a letter to the Comelec regarding their concerns, so the poll body can further study it.

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In an interview shortly after the incident, Bagares told reporters that they were asking the Comelec of transparency and access to election data to check the credibility of the elections.

“It’s a manifestation asking the Comelec to provide us the election data that we need,” Bagares said. “Kasi ngayon nagkacanvass tayo pero hindi naman natin alam kung tama ba ‘yung pagbasa ng makina sa ating mga boto (This is because we are canvassing the votes now, but we do not know if the machines are reading the ballots correctly.)

He reiterated that the Comelec has yet to explain why a lot of vote-counting machines conked out on election day. (EditorEden Estopace)

READ: VCM glitches mar voting in Pasig, Makati and San Juan

READ: 961 VCMs, 1,665 SD cards suffer glitches in 2019 polls — Comelec

READ: Comelec transparency server glitch delays release of partial poll results  

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019

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TAGS: 2019 elections, Append party-list, canvassing, Comelec, Philippine news update
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