By Ellson Quismorio
AKBAYAN Party-List Rep. Tom Villarin is calling on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to look into the various reports of malfunctioning vote-counting machines (VCM) on the day of the elections.
“I think many VCMs are old and broken [and] that might have been overlooked by Comelec,” Villarin told House of Representative’s reporters on Monday.
“VCMs were used as early as 2010 and their wear and tear from storage, transport and handling have affected its internal systems. Comelec should do a probe into this to determine who was amiss in their duties,” added the Davao-based congressman.
Monday’s midterm polls were the fourth in the Philippines to be carried out via automation. The first one was the presidential elections in 2010.
Even high-profile voters were not spared by the glitches inVCMs on Election Day. One of them was former Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who is vying for the position of Makati City congressman.
Reports said that Binay’s accomplished ballot was repeatedly rejected by the VCM at San Antonio National High School at past 7 a.m.
Although the former Makati mayor was eventually able to cast his vote, he proceeded to the PICC-The Forum facility–where Comelec was holding fort–to complain about the incident.
According to Villarin, the malfunctioning VCMs will definitely affect election results in areas where the glitches took place.
“It can affect voter’s turnout and consequently some places can have a failure of election,” he said.