Bro. Eddie asks Comelec to postpone automated polls
By Sheila Crisostomo
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Bangon Pilipinas presidential candidate Eddie Villanueva yesterday called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to postpone the elections on Monday to allow more time for the testing of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
Villanueva filed a petition before the Comelec seeking the deferment of the May 10 elections to May 24.
“We are asking the Comelec to assure the public (of) the integrity, smooth performance and legal requisites of the automated elections by doing more random tests,” Villanueva said.
“If, after the tests, it still encounters problems, then we are asking the Comelec to consider the postponement of Monday’s elections to May 24,” he said.
Villanueva took the initiative to file a petition to move the elections to a later date following the malfunction of the PCOS machines during an initial test run last Monday.
The malfunction, traced to a misconfiguration of the compact flash cards in the PCOS machines, triggered fears of a failure of elections.
Villanueva said the Comelec should regain the public trust in the automated election system by conducting a more thorough testing of the machines.
“If the PCOS machines are not counting accurately, this May 10 elections would be more horrible than the rigged election of 2004. The Comelec must be accountable later for this unmitigated disaster,” he said.
Villanueva cited in his petition the move of the Comelec to recall thousands of flash cards from the PCOS machines following the glitch.
He said the recall of the flash cards is enough reason to delay the elections under Section 5 of the Omnibus Election Code and Rule 26 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure.
“While Smartmatic may have assured the public that the technical remedy to the problem can be obtained and implemented before the original schedule of May 10, 2010, the more substantial requirement of credibility of the holding of such an election cannot be assured, satisfied, or complied with such technical remedy alone,” the petition stated.
On the other hand, Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Liberal Party (LP) senatorial candidate, filed a motion for reconsideration at the Comelec urging the poll body to reconsider its decision junking a parallel manual count for the May 10 elections.