Church leaders, Melo pray for divine intervention
By Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—They prayed that the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines won’t fail.
Religious leaders Wednesday showed their support for the beleaguered Commission on Elections (Comelec), seeking Divine Intervention to ensure the success of the May 10 polls.
Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales joined Comelec Chair Jose Melo in a prayer session at the Comelec office, along with Pastor Peter Tan Chi of the Christ’s Commission Fellowship. Also present were the Comelec commissioners.
The Comelec has been in a crisis since the PCOS machines to be used in Monday’s balloting failed to accurately read the votes cast during mock elections held early this week. The problem was traced to the compact flash cards, all 76,000 of them, which the Comelec later ordered replaced.
Melo read the ecumenical prayer, imploring the heavens for help in making the polls credible.
“We pray, O God, that by your Divine Intervention, we will have the most honest, peaceful and orderly elections on May 10, 2010, of which we can be proud as the most credible electoral exercise in the history of our nation,” he said.
Melo prayed that Smartmatic, the poll body’s technology partner, would complete the configuration of the flash cards in time for the elections.
He also asked that the election machines, equipment and paraphernalia would be in good running order, and that the electrical power and telecommunication signals would remain strong.
Melo also sought protection for the Comelec, its officials and employees, the police, the military, the teachers and the poll watchdogs.
The Comelec chair also prayed that the candidates would not resort to threats, violence and lawlessness, and that they would not interfere in the voting and the canvassing through illegal means.
“Shield them, O Lord, from the temptation to do evil just to win a public office,” he said.
Also present at the prayer session was Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. who, in his introductory remarks, said the Comelec needed the prayers of the people because it had been besieged by many problems, many of which were merely imagined.