Group asks high court to order manual count
By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Concerned Citizen’s Movement (CCM) yesterday sought an order from the Supreme Court to direct the holding of manual elections following the failure of tests on the automated voting machines.
CCM lawyer Harry Roque Jr. filed the petition a day after the court en banc went on recess until June.
However, Chief Justice Reynato Puno could call a special en banc session should the petition warrant immediate attention.
Roque asked the court to issue an injunction to stop the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from going ahead with the scheduled automated balloting and revert to the old manual system after the electronic machines’ memory cards malfunctioned.
Postponing the elections is out of the question because he said this would lead to a transition military junta that Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales had been talking about.
“A delay is part of their plan to put up a military junta,” he told a news conference.
He insisted that there was still time for Comelec to prepare for a manual election, since it had prepared for this possibility in 30 percent of the precincts.
“At least we are used to this system and no voters’ education would be required. We can use automated ballots but would need forms for 70 percent of the precincts,” he said.
If the automated elections fail, Roque said his group would file charges of graft and plunder against Comelec and its Smartmatic-TIM partners.
The court earlier rejected Roque’s petition to nullify the automation project.