MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) assured voters Thursday that a failure of election scenario is "not an option" amid reports of defective vote counting machines (VCM) just 4 days before Monday's polls.
In a press conference, Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said "Comelec is in control of this elections" following a statement of Vic Rodriguez, spokesman of presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos, seeking answers regarding "VCM breakdown left and right."
“Hindi tayo magkakaproblema [sa makina]. Ang daming repair hubs… Naitawid natin 'yung 2019 elections na mas maraming defective VCMs," Casquejo told reporters.
Casquejo reported that out of the 70,924 VCM subjected to the final testing and sealing (FTS) as of Thursday, only 355 were returned to the repair hubs over various issue.
"Ang liit lang talaga [ng considered defective] out of 70,000 na nakapag-conduct ng FTS... I can assure anyone that there will be no problem in the vote counting machines," Casquejo said.
In comparison, Casquejo said that in 2019, about 500 VCMs were reported defective on the first day of FTS alone.
The Comelec has yet to conduct FTS on 35,250 VCMs. There are 106,704 clustered precincts for this year's elections.
Casquejo said that the Comelec has "contingency procedures" in case a VCM in a precinct suddenly glitches.
"The election will still continue. May balota naman, hihiramin lang ang makina... Kapag may bakante na tayong VCM, yun na ang gagamitin natin. Batch feeding na lang," he said.