SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
Jocelyn R. Uy writes an article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer over concerns by the election watchdog group, Kontra Daya, on election anomalies for the May 2013 elections in the Philippines:
The poll watchdog Kontra Daya on Sunday warned that Saturday’s mock polls conducted by the Commission on Elections were attended by the same glitches observed during the 2010 elections and showed that the Comelec was not prepared for another automated balloting.
“The mock election showed that the Comelec has not learned from the 2010 automated election system implementation,” Rick Bahague, an IT expert of Kontra Daya, said in a statement. “Failures and errors already pointed out by various groups based on the 2010 experience still exist.”
Bahague also stressed that the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines encountering problems in reading ballots “cannot be claimed as minor errors.”
Volunteers from Kontra Daya and VoteReportPH also noted other problems during the mock polls conducted at University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS) in Quezon City.
Some Comelec officers and board of election inspectors (BEI) inside the precinct failed to observe the rules of the actual conduct of the elections. They were seen “tinkering” with the voting machine even after the initialization report, an act prohibited in the Comelec General Instructions in the 2010 elections
The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), one of the accredited citizens’ arms of the Comelec, earlier reported other problems like the machines’ thermal rollers were not working, voters’ lists were conflicting and there were missing clips in the PCOS machines.
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles on Sunday said “minor glitches” should not be taken lightly by the Comelec.
“Glitches are proof that something is wrong. The CBCP (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines) has reports that the defects are worse than what we are told. High-tech machines cannot take lightly these ‘minor’ defects,” Arguelles told the Inquirer in a text message on Sunday.
“Smartmatic actually admitted major problems in its court case with the foreign ex-partner,” the prelate added, referring to US-based Dominion Voting Systems.
Last year, Smartmatic filed a case against Dominion in Florida for an alleged breach in a licensing agreement and “tortuous” interference with Smartmatic’s business. It also accused Dominion of allegedly withholding technology and services.