Senate to probe problems, glitches in recent election: Pimentel

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2019 06:26 PM

MANILA - The Senate will look into the different issues that marred last week's midterm elections, Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said Monday.

Among the issues that will be tackled in the joint congressional hearing schedule on June 4 are the glitches in the vote counting machines, as well as the overvotes in the Senate race.

"Ang aming itatanong, mayroong 1 million na ballots, or votes na hindi nabilang. Kaklaruhin nga natin 'yun," Pimentel told DZMM.

(We will ask them about the 1 million ballots or votes which were not counted. We will clarify this.)

"Tatanungin nga namin, itong 1 million na binabanggit ninyo, anong nature nito. Ito ba ay 1 million na iniluwa ng makina o 1 million na overvote?" he added.

(We will ask for the nature of the 1 million votes. Were these 1 million not accepted by the machine, or were these 1 million all overvotes?)

According to Pimentel, who is the chairman of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Automated Election System, they are expected to have a hearing on the recently-concluded elections whether there were problems or not.

"Kahit na perfect 'yung eleksyon natin, walang aberya, walang reklamo, maghi-hearing pa rin kami kasi ang aming trabaho is to assess the automated election system," he said.

(Even if the election was perfect, no glitches, no complaints, we will still have a hearing because it is our job to assess the automated election system.)

"Eh malas lang ng Comelec ngayon, ang daming aberya kaya talagang marami kaming tanong na dapat sagutin nila," Pimentel added.

(It is just unfortunate for the Commission on Elections because they have to answer a lot of questions.)

Pimentel earlier said the Senate will look into the vote counting machine glitches experienced during the elections after the poll body admitted that faulty units tripled this year compared to the 2016 polls.

Around 400 to 600 out of the 85,000 vote counting machines in precincts across the country encountered glitches, while the total number of VCM problems in the 2016 elections was at 188.

A study done by ABS-CBN Data Analytics also showed over 1 million overvotes for the Senate race were recorded during the May 13 midterm elections.

Of the 45,659,724 who cast their votes in the senatorial race as of 95.11 percent of election returns transmitted, a total of 1,170,331 had ballots with overvotes, which meant that these were not counted by machines.