Senators 'unanimously' agree to push for 'hybrid' elections in 2022: Marcos

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2020 06:06 PM

MANILA - Senators have "unanimously" agreed to push for a "hybrid" voting system in the 2022 national elections, Senate Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation Committee chair Imee Marcos said Thursday. 

In a press briefing, Marcos said the panel would soon discuss the proposed pivot from automated polls.

Under the hybrid scheme, votes will be cast and tallied at the precinct level manually and automated processes will only be used in the transmission of results to the Commission on Elections' central database.

"Everybody wants hybrid. Mukha namang unanimous pero certainly, si Senate President [Vicente Sotto III] gusto niya manual na," Marcos told Senate reporters in a weekly briefing.

(It seems unanimous, but certainly, Senate President Vicente Sotto III wants to revert to manual voting.)

"Gusto natin manual bilangan sa presinto para may ebidensya. 'Yung tara-tara system para may pinanghahawakan," she said.

(We want the canvassing to be manual so that there will be evidence. We want manual tallies so we can hold on to something.)

Marcos' brother - defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. - has a pending election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo after he cast doubt on the integrity of the automated 2016 polls.

Sotto had also made allegations of fraud in the last presidential elections. 

The chamber will try to pass the law that will revert the country's election system in time for the next national polls, Marcos said.

"Marami na tayong election laws na di magkasundo so we have to fix that as well to make 2022 the most transparent and open elections," she said.

(We have a lot of conflicting election laws that must be fixed to make 2022 the most transparent and open elections.)

In 2010, the Philippines held its first automated national elections to address incidents of election violence, including attacks against poll watchers and reports of stolen ballot boxes.

Calls to revert to manual voting grew after the 2019 midterm elections, when numerous technical glitches marred the poll's integrity.

The Commission on Elections attributed the poll flaws to low-quality SD cards and aged vote-counting machines.