MANILA – Senatorial candidate Grace Poe Llamanzares on Wednesday gave assurances that President Aquino will not order the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to rig the May 2013 elections. However, she also backed calls by election watchdog Kontra Daya that Comelec investigate possible glitches in the automated election system.
Speaking to radio DZMM, she said there is a big difference between elections conducted during the past administration and under Aquino.
“Ang kaibahan kasi ngayon sa nakaraang eleksyon ang mismong Pangulo natin na hinalal natin ang nagsasabing talagang susuportahan niya ang lahat ng maaaring inisyatibo na magsisigurong malinis ang eleksyon,” she said.
“Malaking bagay yun na ang Pangulo ang hindi nag-uutos ng dayaan,” she added.
Llamanzares also backed Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., saying the present poll chief is more credible than previous Comelec chairs.
The senatorial bet said various groups such as CenPEG and Kontra Daya have valid concerns about the upcoming polls. She noted that out of 1,000 ballots used in last Saturday’s mock polls, 4 came out defective or were not read correctly by the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
“Now 4 out of 1,000 hindi malaking bagay but in a million votes, that’s already 4,000. It could spell the difference between a declared winner and one who loses because of these anomalies,” she said.
Llamanzares said former Comelec commissioner Augusto Lagman has been working to make sure that the country has clean and systematic elections. On the other hand, she also said Chairman Brillantes is coming from a lawyer’s perspective when he enumerated the possible problems if elections switch back to a manual count.
She said concerns about the coming election should be put in writing and answered by Comelec.
"I support Kontra Daya because they make the public aware that we can never be complacent about these things," she said.