Pangilinan presses Comelec to explain poll glitches


Posted at Jun 06 2019 03:02 PM

Pangilinan presses Comelec to explain poll glitches 1
Opposition Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan. File

MANILA - Opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Thursday to explain problems that hounded the May 13 polls.

Pangilinan, who led the dismal campaign of the Liberal Party-backed Otso Diretso senatorial slate, said the poll body has yet to respond to their requests for an explanation.

"We continue to await a response from the Commission on Elections on several issues that it still has not been able to adequately explain, mainly the 7-hour glitch," he said in a statement.

The LP, according to Pangilinan, has requested the Comelec to explain the delay in the real-time transmission of election results to media partners, a list of the corrupted secure digital (SD) cards and vote counting machines (VCMs) that malfunctioned, as well as a report on bleeding pens used by voters.

"Until these are submitted we withhold drawing conclusions as to the overall conduct of the elections," he said.

Comelec faced criticism during the midterm polls after hundreds of VCMs encountered glitches and real-time elections results were delayed for 7 hours due to technical difficulties.
Pangilinan explained that identifying the corrupted SD cards and malfunctioning VCMs are "critical" in the Senate race given that differences in the number of votes between the 9th and 14th place are below 3 million.

He also urged the joint congressional oversight committee conducting an investigation on the problems surrounding the midterm elections to tackle problems the opposition raised.

Pangilinan tendered his resignation as LP president following Otso Diretso's overwhelming loss in the elections.

Not one candidate from the opposition won in the midterm Senate race which was dominated by President Rodrigo Duterte's allies.

Eight out of the 12 winners were endorsed by Duterte while 4 others were independent candidates.

Duterte last week urged Comelec to "dispose" election technology provider Smartmatic amid concerns raised on the credibility of the polls.

He said the use of Smartmatic is “creating an environment of hostile attitude.” 

The Comelec, however, explained that a legal basis is needed to ban Smartmatic from public biddings on future poll-related activities.