Binay urges DBM to reconsider poll budget cut
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday urged the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to reconsider its decision to cut the budget for the 2013 midterm elections as he warned that a return to manual polls would cause “fears of chaos, fraud, and cheating.”
“It will be a step backward for our democracy,” Binay said in a statement.
Binay issued the statement after the DBM slashed the Commission on Elections’ P13 billion poll budget to P8 billion.
The statement noted Comelec Chairman Sixto Brilliantes Jr.’s saying that the budget cut may force the constitutional body to revert to manual elections in 2013.
Binay added that a return to manual polling could lead to political instability that would impact on investor confidence.
“The amount being requested is a small investment in political stability and in further strengthening democracy,” Binay added.
Binay said that the use of automated polls in the 2010 presidential elections removed opportunities for cheating and fraud.
“For the people, the results of the 2010 automated elections were very credible. Had it been a manual election, there was a high probability that I would have been cheated,” Binay said.
Meanwhile, when asked about the same issue in a separate interview at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), President Benigno Aquino III said that he thought that there would need to be another round of talks between Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Brillantes to address the needs of the Comelec.
When asked about his reactions to comments made by Brillantes that the budget was inadequate, Aquino said he would referee between Abad and Brillantes to resolve the budget issue.
He added that a dialogue is needed between the two officials to reconcile their differences.
Aquino served as a keynote speaker at the 114th foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
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