Comelec eyes charges over dumping of training ballots

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2022 09:58 AM

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MANILA – The Commission on Elections said it is eyeing the filing of charges against those involved in the dumping of training ballots at a site in Amadeo, Cavite.

Comelec Commissioner George Garcia had said on Sunday that the training ballots were used for the training of teachers as well as final testing and sealing process ahead of the actual voting day. Training ballots used by teachers during their preparation are not collected by the Comelec anymore.

Envelopes used during the election day were also found among the training ballots in Cavite, he said. 

Garcia said the trash seems to have been mistakenly picked up by employees of logistics provider F2 Logistics when they picked up the vote-counting machines after the polls. 

The official said they are investigating how the ballots ended up in Cavite, when the vote-counting machines were headed for Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

“’Yan po yung hinihintay namin na report mula po sa F2 Logistics at kinakilangan nilang maipaliwanag sa amin. In fact po, may picture din kami ng mismong, yung mismong mga nagbuhat na taga-F2 atsaka yung guwardiya nung mismong kinukuha nila yan dyan sa Rizal Elementary School sa Tondo Manila,” he said.

(We are waiting for a report from F2 Logistics and they need to explain these to us. In fact, we have a picture of their employee who picked up the box and a guard in Rizal Elementary School in Tondo, Manila.)

Garcia said they are now investigating the chain of custody or those who handled the transport of the ballots.

“Dito po yung chain of custody, kahit pa sinabi mong basura na ito…’yan po ay dapat i-account ng mga taong involved sa pagha-handle at paghahawak ng mga gamit na ‘yan,” he told TeleRadyo.

(We are looking at the chain of custody. Who was supposed to hold these? Even if this is trash...these must be accounted for by those in charge of handling it.)

“Kahit po yung mismong kumolekta at yung mismong nagdala doon sa Cavite titingnan po natin ang liability kasi po, yung mga ganyang klaseng mga pagkakataon, at pangyayari, ‘yan po’y magki-create na naman ng duda, na bakit may ganito, may ganyan,” he explained. 

(Even those who collected these and brought them to Cavite are liable, because incidents like these create doubts in the minds of voters.)

“Definitely po fafile-an po namin ng kaso kung talagang may liability ang sinuman na in charge dyan sa tinatawag na chain of custody.”

(Definitely we will file cases against those in the chain of custody if they are found liable for this.)

Garcia also assured the public that all ballots used during the election were properly accounted for.

“Lahat po ng mga balota na ginamit nung araw ng eleksyon, original ballots especially yung mga nahulog sa machine at nasa loob ng ballot box, fully accounted po, mula sa City Treasurer’s Office ng Maynila, wala pong nawawala, wala pong kulang, walang sobra whatsoever, eksakto pong nareceive ng City Treasurer’s Office ng Manila.”

(All ballots used during election day, the original ballots are fully accounted for at the City Treasurer's Office in Manila. There is nothing missing, there is no excess, we got the exact number.)

--TeleRadyo, 23 May 2022

Workers unload election equipment at the Rafael Palma Elementary School in Manila on May 3, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Workers unload election equipment at the Rafael Palma Elementary School in Manila on May 3, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News