By Ria Fernandez
The administration of the Manila City Hall distanced itself from the issue of official ballot boxes, which were found to have broken seals when they arrived at the City Treasurer’s Office past midnight Sunday.
In a text message, Bambi Purisima, Manila’s Public Information Officer (PIO), clarified that the city hall did not have any authority over the transport, and transfer of the ballots and ballot boxes to be used in the May 13 polls.
“Detach ang city hall diyan. Walang manda[ato] ang city hall diyan (The city hall is detached from that. It has no mandate over it),” Purisima said, adding that the mandate for transfer belonged to “Comelec (Commission on Elections), DBM (Department of Budget and Management), and Marines. Walang kinalaman ang City Hall diyan (The City Hall has nothing to do with it)”.
The Manila City Treasurer’s Office, who is tasked by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with the safekeeping of election paraphernalia until the day of polls, received 1,502 boxes containing ballot IDs and cluster precinct numbers and other details.
But prior to this, Comelec stickers and a truck door seal were found to be torn when they arrived.
Officer-in-charge for Manila City Treasurer’s Office Josephine Daza said they will submit a report to Comelec about this case.
The poll body, meanwhile, said that the seals may have been accidentally broken while election paraphernalia were being transported.
The camps of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and former Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, who are both vying for the mayoral post, refused to comment on the issue when sought for reaction; while the side of former city chief executive Alfredo Lim has yet to send a reply.