Namfrel denied access to random manual audit in some precincts

/ 01:53 PM May 13, 2016

The National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) on Friday complained about not being given full access to the random manual audit (RMA) currently being conducted by local precincts.

Eric Alvia of Namfrel said they are the official observer of the RMA, which tests the accuracy of the vote-counting machines (VCMs), but some of their people on the ground have been prevented from watching how it is conducted.


He said that of the 715 precincts ordered to conduct an RMA, majority have submitted their reports.

However, he said some election officers in Lanao, Manila and Parañaque said they were not aware about the audit.


“We are also concerned that some of them have been feigning ignorance,” he said.

Namfrel personnel assigned in Manila were told that the audit has not yet started but they later received a report that it was already done.

Some of the excuses cited by the election officers were that the teachers were tired or there were no party representatives. But Alvia pointed out that under the law, a new set of teachers, not the ones who served as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) on election day, should conduct the RMA. Party representatives are also not required to be present during the audit.

Alvia said that when they finally went to the precinct, they were told to leave the place.

“In a northern city in Metro Manila we saw some data being smudged,” he said, adding that people were seen using correction fluid to hide discrepancies in the numbers.

He added that the people seemed to have been trying to get a zero variance, by just copying data from election returns, to show that the manual audit resulted in the name numbers as that of the VCM.

Alvia said they were also blocked from observing the manual audit in Manila and Quezon City.


“This is a bit disappointing because we are partners,” he said.

Meanwhile, he lauded the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for introducing the said transparency measure, in accordance with the law.

Alvia said they still do not know what is going on.

“It may be that these people have not been informed or it may be that some people are trying to undermine the RMA for their ulterior motive,” he said.

“We want to find out the truth why a lot of RMA teams on the ground are not allowing Namfrel to observe when in fact the head of the RMA committee is the head of Namfrel, David Balangue,” he added.

Namfrel called on the RMA teams to allow it to observe and make its report, which it will present to the Comelec and the general public. RAM/rga


Random manual audit in 30 areas

Namfrel: Error in transparency script ‘amateurish’

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Comelec, Commission on Elections, Elections 2016, Namfrel, National Movement for Free Elections, precincts, Random Manual Audit, RMA, VCMs, vote counting machines
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.