By Leslie Aquino
Four partylist groups on Friday asked the Commission on Elections to suspend the canvassing of votes for partylists.
Append, Partido Lakas ng Masa, Murang Kuryente and Ang Nars also asked the poll body to defer the proclamation of the supposed winners until the issues raised in their motion have already been resolved.
“The reported widespread failure of the vote counting machines, faulty SD cards, delay in transmission of election returns and the seven-hour glitch which resulted in the delay in the transmission of votes to the transparency servers painted a picture of doubt and alarming perception of fraud. Thus, there is now a clear credibility issue on the votes being canvassed by the National Board of Canvassers,” their urgent motion read.
“It is our considered view that while the pre-proclamation contest is generally not allowed, the existing election laws carved out certain exceptions, such as any discrepancies and manifest errors in the certificate of canvass, and on questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers,” it further read.
“In light of the above, herein partylist groups are constrained to move for the suspension of the canvassing of votes for the partylist, and the impending proclamation of the supposed winners,” read the motion.
The groups also asked the poll body to allow them to access the automated election system “or related data” in relation to the midterm polls as well as look into the system and audit logs transmitted from the vote counting machines, and received by all servers of the Comelec and third parties.
Meanwhile, the Comelec is now considering to hold the proclamation of the winning senators and partylist groups in the 2019 midterm polls at the same time.
“One of the directions we are going is one proclamation for both senator and partylist winners,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said in a press briefing Friday.
He added that it is more “efficient” that way.
The poll official also said that they have yet to send out formal invites although there may have been verbal invitations on when proclamation could happen at the earliest.
“No formal invitations have been issued yet. There are still some matters to be settled,” said Jimenez.