Comelec assures voters of ‘complete transparency’ in 2025 elections
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday assured voters of “full and complete transparency” in the 2025 national and local elections.
The Comelec made the statement after the Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of mandamus filed against the poll body. The petition, filed by the National Press Club, sought the help of the court to compel Comelec to implement the use of digital signatures in the 2022 elections.
The Comelec said it “assures the public that transparency will not be an issue in the 2025 NLE as this Commission recognizes and respects their right to be informed and be part of the electoral process.”
In denying the petition, the court reminded the public that Comelec could compelled to allow the witnessing of the printing of ballots and the disclosure of certain transmission documents.
On the other hand, the court decided that Comelec could be compelled to implement the use of digital signatures in the 2022 national and local elections because the digital signatures generated by the vote counting machines (VCMs were “sufficient compliance” to the Automated Election System Act.
Similarly, the court dismissed the petitioner’s request to mandate Comelec to allow observation of the configuration and preparation of SD Cards and VCMs as the AES Act does not specifically enjoin Comelec to do so.
Furthermore, the court ruled that Comelec could be compelled to grant access to technical hubs, servers, and data centers, as the law did not mandate physical access.
The court asserted that “full public disclosure of transactions involving public interest and the right to information is restricted by reasonable conditions.”
Nevertheless, the court said that Comelec may be compelled to disclose the complete transmission diagram and data or communications network architecture of the VCMs.