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Poll watchdog seeks as amendments

A citizen’s election watchdog appealed yesterday to the public to support a nationwide People’s Initiative to amend Republic Act No. 9369 or the Automation Election Systems law to address the perennial problems experienced by voters and ensure a more transparent and credible election in 2022.

“We call on our countrymen to support the nationwide People’s Initiative to amend the Automation Election Systems law to fix the perennial problems experienced every automated elections in the Philippines so we can have transparent and credible elections in 2022,” Mata sa Balota Movement chairman Leo Olarte said.

“We are pushing for this initiative because we fully support President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated calls for the Commission on Elections to get rid of its technology provider Smartmatic. The President himself said to dispose of that Smartmatic and look for a new one that is free of fraud,” Olarte said.

Earlier, a former official of Smartmatic, Comelec’s technology partner, admitted that precincts in Libon, Albay were transmitting results to the poll body’s transmission server even before Election Day.

In a testimony before the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System, former Smartmatic operations officer Jeffrey Ian Dy said the transmission occurred between May 3 and 9.

Dy could not say if the early transmission affected the election results, but acknowledged that this was wrong and prohibited under Comelec rules.

The anomaly uncovered during the three-hour hearing compounded Comelec’s problems, which included more than 1,000 vote counting machines malfunctioning on Election Day and a seven-hour delay in the transmission of results from the transparency server to media organizations and poll watchdogs.

The hearing also revealed that 1,051 VCMs had malfunctioned during the May 13 polls, and that some 2,246 SD cards had been corrupted.

Topics: Automation Election Systems , Comelec , Leo Olarte , Joint Congressional Oversight Committee

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