MANILA - The chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday vouched for the integrity of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, saying glitches that happened in the 2010 and 2013 elections did not affect the poll results.
In a hearing before the joint congressional oversight committee on the automated election system, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said none of the 98 election protests filed in 2010 and 58 in 2013 have succeeded.
"So far, in two elections already where we used the same machine, there has never been a problem regarding the results, which means we have opened so many protest cases and none of the protest cases have succeeded," he told the congressional hearing.
"There are errors, one or two, but it would not affect the results, not adversely affect the results of the election. So insofar as the results of the elections are concerned, there is no problem insofar as the PCOS machines are concerned."
Among the PCOS glitches reported during previous elections are: failure of the PCOS machine on Election Day, replacement of machines, replacement of compact flash (CF) cards, and problems with transmission which is not necessarily attributable to the machines.
Oversight committee chair Koko Pimentel said the committee has decided to see for itself if Brillantes's claim is true.
He said the committee is set to conduct a recount on August 28 of votes from clustered precincts in two barangays in Nueva Ecija that showed a disparity in the number of votes received by senatorial candidate Eddie Villanueva in the PCOS machines and the manual count.
"Once and for all, the joint congressional oversight committee on the automated election system will be the one to conduct a recount kasi marami kaming naririnig na salita na inaccurate, mali ang bilang ng PCOS machine but at the same time officially, wala namang protestang nagtatagumpay," he said.
"So tignan natin, ito may kaso si Brother Eddie Villanueva na nakabukas siya ng tatlong ballot boxes na ni-recount ng Regional Trial Court. So ang committee na mismo ng Congress at saka ng Senado ang magbibilang para malaman namin once and for all gaano ba ka-accurate ang PCOS machines because we are getting conflicting reports."