Faith-based group seeks independent probe on poll glitches

Faith-based group seeks independent   probe on poll glitches

Various groups troop to the PICC Center where canvassing of votes for nationally-elected positions to call for transparency and accountability from the Commission on Elections, May 17, 2019. PHOTO FROM PMPI FACEBOOK PAGE

A faith-based group has joined calls for an independent probe of technical glitches that marred the midterm elections, fuelling suspicions of fraud.

The Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) said that the Commission on Elections must be held accountable for alleged poll irregularities.

“We will not rest until a proper investigation of these allegations of a fraudulent election and conspiracy is initiated,” PMPI said.

It said that glitches on the vote counting machines are substantiated by reports from their partners in communities.

The group said that some cases have it that they voted for their chosen candidate but receipts included the name of Bong Go which was not part of their choice.

It also said that another voted 10 candidates but the receipt yielded only eight names while the ninth and tenth are just dots.

“We call on the people to come forward and report cases and experiences of election related anomalies,” PMPI said.

“We will help document cases of election related fraud and irregularities. We will remain vigilant,” it added.

PMPI is a network of people’s organizations, faith-based groups, and Misereor, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Germany.

The group also criticized the supposed inability of the Comelec to explain what caused the delay in the transmission on results on election night.

“There was no clear and thorough explanation on the so called ‘java error’ provided during the lull,” it lamented.

It also said glitches in 1,699 vote counting machines and the malfunctioning of almost a thousand SD (Secure Digital) cards “reek of inefficiency and unpreparedness”.

On Friday, PMPI joined a protest outside the PICC Center, where the Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, canvasses votes for senators and party-list groups.

“We demand accountability and transparency from the Comelec,” PMPI said.