LENTE ready to audit midterm polls

Published May 12, 2019, 5:14 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Analou De Vera 

Poll watchdog Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) has expressed readiness for the conduct of the random manual audit (RMA) of the midterm elections on Wednesday.

“We are ready for election day and RMA,” said the group in a statement on Sunday.

The LENTE replaced the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) as the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) citizen arm.

The group will be working with the Philippine Institute for Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) during the auditing of votes.

“Twenty-five PICPA and LENTE volunteers were already trained to be supervisors of the auditors in the RMA. LENTE and PICPA will not be the auditor. The auditors will be public school teachers,” the group said.

“As supervisors, we were trained to answer the questions of teacher/auditor if there is variance between the ballot and the machine count. This, along with our extensive experience in manual elections, gives us the confidence to be able to serve the people well,” it added.

The group said that participation in the RMA “is a crucial component in our elections to ensure that the machine count is accurate as to really reflect the true will of the people.”

“It is important that a representative of the civil society is present in this process. LENTE has taken it upon itself to take on this role,” the group said.

There are 715 polling precincts nationwide that will be randomly selected for the RMA.

The RMA, which will start on Wednesday, will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.

“RMA will continue until all the selected 715 areas are finished,” assured the group in its official Twitter page.

The LENTE added that it did not request any election data, similar to what was earlier requested by the NAMFREL to Comelec.

“We will be doing RMA work. We did not request for any of the data requested before. As is, the RMA data is different from the ones requested by NAMFREL,” the group said in another tweet.

The LENTE is a group of lawyers, paralegals, and law students founded in 2007. #MatalinongBoto2019