Election under control despite VCMs’ glitches: Comelec
DESPITE some glitches in the use of vote-counting machines (VCMs) in some precincts, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said the election is still under control.
“We would like to assure everybody that the Comelec is in full control of what is happening right now. The election is still ongoing,” Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said during a press conference at the PICC in Pasay City.
Though there were glitches, Garcia noted no single ballot was reportedly “missing.”
“We would like to assure the public that these are anticipated,” he noted.
Garcia said all the glitches were already resolved by the Comelec operation centers and by the repair hubs.
He said voters should be the ones feeding the ballot into the VCM and dropping the receipt into the ballot boxes–if the machines are well-functioning and not subjected to repairs.
“Subalit kung ‘yung mga makina ay biglang magkaproblema, aayusin po ng ating mga technician o kaya dadalhin sa ating repair hubs, lahat po ng mga botanteng nakapila ay pabobotohin pa rin (But if the machines got some issues, it will be repaired by our technicians or will be brought to the repair hubs, and all of the voters in queue can still vote),” he added.
Garcia noted that voting will not stop even if there are no VCMs in the polling precincts.
“Tuluy-tuloy po ang pagboto at lahat nung balota ay pagpapatas-patasin tapos po pag dumating yung machine later, ima-mass feed po iyon (The voting will continue and all of the ballot will be set aside and will undergo mass feeding when he machine comes),” he said.
The ballots will be mass-fed in front of the political parties’ representatives, citizens’ arms, and the watchers to ensure the credibility of the process, he said.
“Wag po nilang sabihin na iyon ang paraan para madaya iyon, kasama po iyon sa ating protocols (Don’t think that it could be a way for cheating, it is part of our protocols),” he said, citing that it won’t be practical to wait for the machines to be repaired before allowing voters to cast their votes.
“Lahat po sila (voters) ay makakaboto kahit walang machines nasa protocol po natin iyon. Nililiwanang lang po natin (All of them can vote even without the presence of the machines, it’s part of our protocols. We are just clarifying that),” Garcia said.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said a total of 106,017 classroom precincts have done the final testing and sealing.
Casquejo reported that 817 VCMs declared as defective were repaired as of Monday morning.
“That 817 machines will now be considered as contingency machines,” he added.
The repaired machines brought to a total of 1900 VCMs that will serve as contingency and have been distributed to the provinces.
Casquejo said if VCM issues occur, they will be immediately replaced by a contingency machine while waiting for defective machines to be repaired.
“So there will be no issues on defective VCMs,” he added. Philippine News Agency