PPCRV now in 'kissing mode' with Namfrel

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2012 05:08 PM | Updated as of Dec 22 2012 01:08 AM

PPCRV urges voter vigilance in 2013 polls

MANILA, Philippines – Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) chairperson Henrietta de Villa called for increased voter vigilance in the 2013 mid-term elections, as it is a “dry run” for the 2016 Presidential elections.

“Politically and all things considered, dry run ito for 2016. Sana ang mga tao maging vigilant, ‘di lang tanggap ng tanggap. Pag-aralan talaga at kilalanin ang bawat kandidato,” said de Villa.

De Villa's PPCRV has been mandated by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to work with the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) after both were accredited as citizens' arms.

Poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. said PPCRV was already accredited weeks ago while Namfrel's accreditation is due out soon. Both groups are expected to compliment each other in terms of poll watching and monitoring campaign finance, voter education and random manual audit.

Brillantes said both groups can mend fences especially after they didn't work together in the 2010 elections. In 2010, only the PPCRV was accredited as citizens' arm.

De Villa and Namfrel's Corazon dela Paz met with the Comelec on Friday.

Dela Paz noted many of Namfrel's members are accountants and information technology experts who can help with campaign finance monitoring.

“I don't see why we cannot work together. The mandate will have to come from Comelec. I have no problem, we're kissing mode ni Tita. Problems in the past should remain in the past. We can learn lessons, I believe we’ll both be working with Comelec,” she said.

De Villa said PPCRV was also given similar responsibilities in addition to an unofficial parallel count of election results. PPCRV is also pushing for source code review. It pans to deploy as many as 400,000 volunteers and watchers for 2013.

Meantime, de Villa revealed that based on discussions with Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, persons with disabilities will have assistance desks in select voting centers.