Soaked PCOS machines moved to city warehouse
Yesterday’s rain which soaked several Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines stored at the Cebu City Hall grounds was like a “blessing” from heaven, re-elected Mayor Michael Rama said.
Rama said this was a sign for his opponent and outgoing Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district to accept defeat in the May 13 election and withdraw the election protest he filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“Maayo kaayo ang Ginoo. Blessing to (God is good. This is a blessing),” a grinning Rama said when asked for comment about the soaked PCOS machines.
Osmeña admitted that the soaked PCOS machines made him worry.
“There are almost 600 PCOS machines and only about one percent got wet. It was random. Who gained and who lost votes in those boxes is not clear. Anyway, I can just hope for the best,” Osmeña said.
Ferdinande Gujilde, head of Cebu City’s board of election canvassers, said during the canvass of election returns that the PCOS machines were placed under tents installed at the City Hall grounds for everyone to see.
Gujilde said the wet PCOS machines won’t affect the election protest Osmeña filed against Rama and the separate complaint which outgoing vice Young filed against Vice Mayor-elect Edgardo Labella.
“This won’t be a problem even if we had to do a manual count. If the hard copy is damaged by the rain, there are backup copies,” Gujilde said.
Acting City Treasurer Emma Villarete said they need a big warehouse to keep the 592 PCOS machines used in Cebu City during the election.
Rama said this problem could have been avoided if the City Council approved his earlier proposal to build a City Hall warehouse in a portion of the South Road Properties (SRP).
Rama said he earlier saw the need to transfer the PCOS machines but didn’t bother to raise his concern to avoid suspicion of manipulation. Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac
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