Perlas calls for three-month postponement of automated elections
CARMELA G. LAPEÑA
Independent presidential candidate Nicanor Perlas and the Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan (PANGMASA) called for a postponement of the national elections by three months during the presidential forum of Listen Mindanao at the Holy Cross University in Davao City this morning.
Perlas who raised the strong possibility of an ‘electronic Garci’ two months ago, said that there is “no way of determining the real winners of the automated election within 48 hours as the Comelec announced.”
“The way things are being handled by the Comelec, the automated system will be the black hole of the election. Pushing through with the May 10 elections will just further plunge the country into chaos that is potentially violent,” he said.
Perlas cited Comelec’s admission that an estimated 30 percent of the machines may fail to proceed, resulting in a manual count.
He also mentioned that the Comelec admitted in a forum that the winners will not be known within 48 hours due to the sheer number of candidates.
He added that absentee voting in Hongkong recently was marred by a malfunctioning machine that jammed and rejected ballots and that there is likewise a call for the review of the indelible ink contract and bidding process.
Section 5 of the Omnibus Election Code and Rule 26 of Comelec’s Rules of Procedure allow the postponement of election for serious causes that prevent the holding of a free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible election.
“But this is not going to happen the way Comelec’s preparations are going. The system is too complex. There are too many loopholes and too many changes even now with elections just three weeks away, that the electorate is not assured of a free, orderly and honest election,” added Perlas.
Perlas in various presidential fora had earlier issued the warning of a repeat of the Garci scenario.
“The probability is increasing every day for cheating facilitated by electronic devices. What will happen is that there may be an election but there will be failure of election,” he stated.
To avert such a failure, Perlas had proposed a manual count fall back option in a hybrid balloting, stating that even Germany and the Netherlands had scrapped automated elections after discovering that a high school student could hack the voting machines.
Perlas is holding nationwide consultation and discussion with his supporters for possible actions in a failure of elections scenario. – GMANews.TV