The Random Manual Audit (RMA) of the 2022 general elections is expected to finish in 45 days, the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) said.
“It will last for 45 days kasi medyo marami po yung positions na i-audit and kasama pa po doon yung partylist na marami po talagang kandidato (because there are quite several positions to be audited, including the partylists),” said Atty. Helen Graido of LENTE during a press briefing on Thursday, May 12.
“So, it would really affect the timeline. So, we projected that already and we actually computed that a ballot box would need 2.5 days to be processed,” she added.
Graido said that they were auditing 50 ballot boxes on Thursday. “For today because we’ve deployed 50 teams for Batch 1—so ngayon Day 2, first time mag oopen ng (So today, it’s Day 2–the first time that we opened the) ballot boxes, we are currently auditing 50 ballot boxes,” she said.
Most of the ballot boxes that they are currently auditing were from Metro Manila cities such as Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Taguig, Pasay, and Pasig; “a huge chunk in Nueva Ecija, some came from Pampanga,” said Graido.
Graido said that the main aim of the RMA is to check the accuracy of vote counting machines.
“Ito ay check up sa performance ng makina...It is not intended to proclaim winners, kasi isa po iyan sa mga misconception (This is a check up on the performance of the machine... It is not intended to proclaim winners as that is one of the misconceptions),” she said.
“It is simply just an audit. We are not allowed or it would be inaccurate for us to expand the accuracy rates/ results that were gathered from this exercise to actually say that a candidate is a winner or a candidate is a loser,” she added.
To recall, a total of 757 clustered precincts across the country were selected for the RMA. The Comelec’s partners for the RMA include election watchdogs LENTE and National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) as well as the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino said that the RMA will "determine and bolster our faith in the electoral system that the machine count is accurate and that the machine count is what is reflected on the ballots."