Serge Osmeña pushes for return of manual voting in 2019 elections

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 23 2018 11:45 PM

Former senator Sergio Osmeña files his certificate of candidacy for the 2019 senatorial elections on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ASB-CBN News

MANILA- Former senator Sergio Osmeña III proposed on Tuesday that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) revert to manual voting and counting for the 2019 midterm elections.

Claiming that he was cheated during the 2016 senatorial race, Osmeña said the Comelec should revert to manual voting and counting but automate the canvassing to ensure clean elections.

"I think we should bring back just manual voting and automate the canvassing," he said on ANC's "Beyond Politics."

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The veteran politician ranked 14th in the 2016 senatorial race, blaming "widespread" cheating for his defeat. He deferred from filing an electoral protest.

Osmeña said manual counting of votes in the precincts only takes a "few hours" and is "transparent."

"Nevermind what happened 2 years ago, that's water under the bridge but I feel we should go back to manual voting because it's transparent," he said.

The Philippines held its first fully automated elections nationwide in 2010.

Osmeña is seeking to bounce back from his defeat in the 2016 senatorial race, this time as an independent candidate.

A Sept. 1 to 7 Pulse Asia poll on voter preferences placed Osmeña in the 8th to 17th range. 

Asked what made him decide to seek a Senate return, Osmeña said he wants to give the poor a voice amid rising prices of goods in the country.

"Today we have serious economic problems and I don't see anybody who's conversant enough with the economy to be able to participate," he said.

"I better give the poor a voice in the economic situation of the country... Somebody has got to get a handle on things," he added.