Party list groups in Iloilo rally to seek vote canvassing transparency
ILOILO CITY — Party list groups on Friday held a protest in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Western Visayas office here to demand transparency in the canvassing of votes, citing alleged massive irregularities in the May 13 elections.
The Makabayan Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan), a coalition of 12 party list groups, including Bayan Muna and Gabriela, decried the widespread incidents of defective SD cards, of vote counting machines, prolonged delay in transmission of results, and other errors.
“We demand transparency and an independent investigation on the irregularities in Monday’s elections. It is becoming apparent that there has been massive manipulation in the elections coupled with an orchestrated and systematic campaign against militant party list groups,” said Siegfred Deduro, Makabayan vice president for the Visayas.
The party list groups also decried what they perceived to be an active campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to discredit the groups in violation of the Omnibus Election Code ban on engaging in partisan politics by members of the military and PNP.
Students majoring in Computer Science, Statistics and Mathematics of the University of the Philippines Visayas in Miag-ao town in Iloilo also demanded transparency.
“Systems dealing with data should be developed properly and accurately as any anomalies or mistakes that surface during execution can greatly affect the reliability of the result. Errors can, among many things, point to improper use and even abuse of the system. As such the unclear nature of the alleged errors puts the results in a questionable light,” according to a joint statement by Komsai.org, Statistical Circle, and Mathematics Circle.
“The people have the right to understand exactly what these errors are and what they mean for the elections. The Comelec must not only provide a clear and understandable statement in layman’s terms, but also a statement that is credible and verifiable by experts in the field. This is part of their responsibility to the Filipino people,” the student organizations said in their statement. (Editor: Leti Z. Boniol)
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