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AMID REPORTS OF POLL FRAUD

Groups want to suspend proclamation of national poll bets

/ 04:34 PM May 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The proclamation of national candidates should be called off until a probe in the alleged irregularities in the 2019 midterm elections is conducted, a senatorial candidate and several progressive groups said Friday.

Labor Win candidate Leody de Guzman said that while they acknowledge their imminent loss in the election, investigating the issues marring recent polls is still very significant.

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“It is difficult to trust the credibility of the results while Comelec fumbles in explaining what caused these delays and lapses. While our campaign has already recognized our standing in the results, this does not mean that allegations of fraud and clear irregularities must simply be swept under the rug,” De Guzman said in a statement.

“Is it too much to ask the Comelec for an independent investigation of what had transpired and the scope of these issues? We cannot simply ignore them for they will surely happen again if not addressed,” he noted.

READ: Comelec allays fear of ‘cheating’ after transparency server glitch

During the elections last Monday, netizens claimed on social media that the name of a particular candidate appeared in the receipts released by vote counting machines (VCMs) even if they did not vote for the poll bet.

A video posted by Anakbayan party-list also showed ballots supposedly pre-shaded before the elections.

Patunay ng dayaan sa eleksyon! Umusbong ang isang video na nagpapakita ng pre-shading ng balota sa Lanao del Sur sa gitna ng Martial Law sa Mindanao!Maging mapagmatiyag habang gumuglong ang bilingan ng resulta sa eleksyon at ang maniobra ng rehimen na paupuin ang mga alipores nito sa kapangyarihan.#LabanKabataan#LabanBayan

Posted by Anakbayan on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

It also did not help that after the initial transmission of election results at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, which comprise about 0.38 percent of all polling precincts, the transparency server of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) went silent for nearly eight hours.

When it transmitted the next batch of poll results at 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, the results already covered more than 90 percent of all precincts. This gave netizens the notion of who more likely would win Senate seats.

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

READ: Comelec blames ‘bottleneck’ for 7-hour server delay

Lawyer Aaron Pedrosa, secretary-general of Sanlakas and nominee of Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) party-list, said these issues put into question the credibility of the poll results.

“It is only through public access to the data logs [that] will we allay suspicions of electoral fraud arising from vote manipulation,” Pedrosa said in a statement.

“We have manifested this matter before the National Board of Canvassers (NBC) but we were rebuffed,” he added.

On Wednesday, Comelec Commissioner Luie Tito Guia asked groups raising issues on election irregularities to back-up their claims with documentary evidence.

READ: Back up electoral fraud claims with evidence, Comelec exec tells groups

Pedrosa said they are allowed to voice concerns as party-list candidates.
“Under the rules, parties are allowed to manifest on matters concerning the canvassing of the votes,” Pedrosa explained.

“There is nothing that prohibits groups from pointing out its observations and request access to data logs. If we cannot raise these matters before [the] Comelec, where then can we raise these?” he asked. (Editor: Eden Estopace)

READ: Comelec grants PPCRV request for transparency server’s audit logs

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TAGS: Comelec, Commission on Elections, Labor Win, Leody de Guzman., Partido Lakas ng Masa, PLM, poll fraud, Sanlakas
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