Comelec, watchdogs, security sector ready for May 13 polls
We’re almost ready.”
That was the assurance given to the voting public by government agencies, citizen election watchdogs and the religious groups that are working together for the May 13 elections.
At the Command Conference organized by the Cebu Citizens Involvement and Maturation in People’s Empowerment and Liberation (C-CIMPEL) yesterday, Commission on Election Provincial Supervisor Eddie Aba promised that the election operations this year will be better than 2010.
“We learned from the first automated elections. We should have perfect elections for Cebu,” he said.
Aba also asked voters to support Comelec’s strong campaign against vote buying.
He said that it is not possible for one to “accept the money and yet vote according to the call of conscience.”
“That is a bad joke,” he said.
Comelec Central Visayas Director Temie Lambino said almost all systems are already in place for election day such as complete security briefing for the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machine to the board of election inspectors.
Private telecommunication companies PLDT, Globe, Sun and Smart with power utility firms the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGPC) have already finished the setup of their utilities, said Lambino.
Lambino said the Final Testing and Sealing of the PCOS will be done on May 6 at Castle Peak Hotel. After this, the PCOS machines will be delivered to the polling precincts all over Cebu.
He said this is to ensure the PCOS’ machines are in good condition.
“We urge everyone to be there especially representatives from the parties so that they can see the process for themselves,” said Lambino.
Lambino said voters need not worry if the telephone signals of the network providers fail during the elections because Comelec has prepared contingency plans for it.
The Comelec will use BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) to provide alternative signal in areas where signal is weak.
“We have a lot of securities because we have a lot of insecurities,” Lambino said.
Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Roy Deveraturda said soldiers have undergone the election workshops and the simulation exercises to prepare them for election service.
He assured the public that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will remain non-partisan.
Marilou Chongbian of C-CIMPEL expressed hope in the effects of the voters values seminars their organization has conducted since November last year.
She said they will need more volunteers for the different committees they formed for election day.
Cebu Provincial Police Office director Patrocinio Comendador promised C-CIMPEL of security support for their volunteers.
C-CIMPEL is the political education arm of the Cebu Archdiocese since the 1992 synchronized local and national elections and has accreditation from the Comelec.
Meanwhile, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma who presided the conference hoped for successful, clean and healthy elections.