TAGUM CITY — A Davao-based poll watchdog and PDP-Laban Presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte slammed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday, March 10 for threatening to postpone the May 9 elections.
Kim Gargar, a convener of Kontradaya in Davao Region, said that the Comelec “has no substantive reason to postpone the elections because there is sufficient time”. He branded the threat as a “lame excuse” to undermine the High Tribunal’s order.
“There is enough time for Comelec to implement the full Automated Election System law. Remember that it took the Comelec less than a week to recall the CF cards way back in 2010 elections as configuration errors in the CF cards caused tabulation errors in the mock polls. Ayon nga sa kasabihan, kung gusto, may paraan; kung ayaw, may dahilan [According to a saying, if there’s a will, there’s a way; if they don’t, they make alibis],” Gargar said.
Gargar said that the issuance of the voter receipts will ensure a credible automated election results as part of a set of safeguards prescribed by the AES law.
“Comelec had more than six years to implement the voter receipt feature as mandated by the AES law. Kontra Daya has been advocating for the activation of this feature since Day 1 of the implementation of the AES. So there should be no reason for Comelec not to do it this time,” Gargar said.
Gargar claims that Comelec should be blamed if the upcoming elections would not be “credible.”
“By hostaging the people into allowing another machine elections without this and other security measures by scaring them of postponement, the Comelec is the one to blame for furthering the popular notion that the results of the automated elections in 2010 and 2013 are not credible,” he stressed.
The poll body earlier this week said that it may consider the election postponement as an option following the High Tribunal’s ruling that compels them—in particular— the PCOS machine to issue a voter receipts come May 2016 election.
Presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said that it is the constitutional duty of the Comelec to push through the May 9 elections.
The PDP-Laban presidential standard bearer said the poll body should abide by the Supreme Court order because the vote verification feature of the PCOS machines guarantees transparency.
“That is the problem of the Comelec because those are safety measures guaranteed for transparency,” Duterte said in a statement. “Since they did not implement it, that is their problem.”
Davao’s tough-talking Mayor added: “Those security measures were put in place to avoid doubts on the the result of the election.” “Those are the things that are put in place by law. Why didn’t they implement it?” he asked.
Duterte’s running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, said that it would be unacceptable for Comelec to manifest their unpreparedness for the upcoming poll despite of the Supreme Court ruling.
“I don’t see a reason, given the constitutional powers given to the Comelec, that the election would be postponed or held for more than one day,” Cayetano said. (davaotoday.com)