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RPC Negros calls on Comelec to resolve May 9 polls irregularities

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BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The Robredo People’s Council(RPC) yesterday called on the Commission on Elections to undertake measures to resolve recurring irregularities and issues, in line with the holding of May 9 elections.

In a joint statement, RPC Negros Occidental head Rafael Coscolluela and RPC Bacolod head Jessie Suarez expressed alarm over the Vote Counting Machine malfunctions, massive vote buying, other campaign violations and malpractices that occurred with wanton impunity, stressing that it diminishes the credibility of electoral process.

The RPC Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are still keenly observing the outcome of random manual audit being done now by the Comelec in Manila, as they showed interest in comparing the results of the random manual audit with the election returns and the transparency server results.

Coscolluela and Suarez said they also noticed the evasive attitude of the Parish Pastoral Council on Responsible Voting chairperson Myla Villanueva to conduct manual random audit on machine generated election returns, to be compared to the electronically transmitted election returns.

The compared results of the random manual audit with election returns and the transparency server results will determine our stand regarding the outcome of the national election, they added.

Villanueva earlier said that PPCRV does not audit actual ballots, stressing that what it does is to check for fraud committed, while the election returns, or ERs, are being transmitted.

There are 757 legislative districts nationwide,hence all 757 clustered precincts will be covered by the random manual audit, the RPC officials said.

They are also aware of the many questionable circumstances before the May 9 national elections such as the observations· made by Jarius Bondoc (failure of COMELEC to have the VCM source code, source code of the central backup and transparency servers that add up each machine’s count) certified by professional bodies as required by the automated election law. Furthermore, printing of the official ballots was done without the presence of candidate’s watchers before the election.

Vice President Leni Robredo, whose presidential bid was supported by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, Rep. Rafael Leo Cueva, as well as three other mayors, obtained 527,321 votes, against 482,344 of presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Negros Occidental, during the May 9 polls.

We urge Comelec to undertake the needed measures to resolve these recurring irregularities and issues so that future electoral processes become truly free, fair, honest and credible, Coscolluela and Suarez said further in a joint statement.

Comelec must be held accountable for ensuring the sanctity of ballot and protecting the right of every of every citizen to vote freely, without fear or harm, they stressed.*

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