MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections refuted claims of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines that wholesale fraud may happen in the midterm elections unless the concerns over the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines are addressed.
In its pastoral letter Tuesday, the CBCP said: "The issues raised to the Comelec on automated election concerns. Election is not a matter of speed but of trustworthiness and honesty. If not properly addressed the present automated election system can lead to wholesale cheating. The integrity of a pillar of our democracy - the election - is at stake."
The CBCP likewise felt that the poll body needs to be more open.
"We call upon Comelec to adequately address the issues and respond, place corrective measures if necessary, to the studies of technical experts to the alleged deficiencies of the present system and technology of automated elections. There can be no transparency in elections if the Comelec itself is not transparent."
Asked for his comment, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said, "PCOS ginamit nung 2010 walang wholesale fraud. We’re using the same machine improve pa ng konti. It should be better enhanced elections."
Brillantes added: "I'll have to read the statement first. Whatever the opinion of bishops, we will respect their opinion. We will try to cope with some deficiencies."