Press Release from the Legal Network for Truthful Elections and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
OPEN LETTER TO COMELEC
Show us our votes!
“The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) call on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to explain to the public how it plans to comply with one of the minimum safety requirements provided for in Republic Act (R.A.) 9369, which is to provide the voter a system of verification to find out whether or not the machine has registered his choice.
With only 164 days to go before Election Day, it is imperative on the part of COMELEC to explain to us how they plan on activating this voting verification system. It is not enough that we be congratulated on a successful vote, as was the case during the past two elections where voters were only shown a congratulatory message after inserting the ballot into the PCOS machines.
We remind COMELEC of the decision of the Supreme Court in Roque vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. 188456) where the Supreme Court took note that the PCOS machine contains an LCD screen which can be programmed or configured to display to the voter his votes as read by the machine.
Accuracy, and not speed, should be the consideration of COMELEC in the conduct of elections. Voters should know how the PCOS machines read and appreciate their votes. Whatever, COMELEC must provide a process on election day to remedy and rectify incidents where a PCOS machine misread, or misappreciate, or fail to read, or reject a vote.
Accordingly, we suggest the scrapping of the Commission’s one voter-one ballot policy as this policy has resulted to voter disenfranchisement. We have received a lot of reports that ballots, for no reason at all, were not accepted by these PCOS machines. Because of this one voter-one ballot policy, voters were not given another chance to fill up another ballot, resulting to disenfranchisement on their part.
IBP and LENTE have committed to monitor the 2016 National and Local Elections and carry forward the banner of the RULE OF LAW!
Atty. Rosario T. Setias-Reyes
IBP National President”