Carandang to Comelec: Be more transparent

MANILA, Philippines -- Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang has a piece of advice to the Commission on Elections (Comelec). 

At a post-election forum organized by the Ateneo de Manila University in Ortigas on Tuesday, May 28, Carandang said he believes the Comelec needs to be "more proactive" in explaining poll-related glitches it encounters along the way. 

Citing issues such as the delay in election returns transmission, Carandang said that although the public's general perception of the recent elections was "generally fair and accepted," full disclosure on the part of the Comelec could have "erased or minimized a lot of questions" during the elections. 

"The more the public sees the Comelec addressing these issues with all honesty and earnestness then the more people would believe in the Comelec," he said. 

Carandang even has a proposal on who should take the role of reaching out to the public—Commissioner Lui Guia, who was also a speaker at the forum.  

"A simple explanation like what Lui gave us was something that I think was important for us to hear and in my view, I think it's enhanced the credibility of the process hearing it from someone from the other side," Carandang said.  

"Lui should get out there more. Maybe he should do a little bit more of speaking to the public in behalf of the Comelec," he added. 

In the recent elections, groups such as the United Nationalist Alliance and some election watchdogs questioned why the election results came in slower than in 2010. 

At the forum, Guia addressed concerns about the Comelec's transparency server, which shows the "unofficial count" from votes collated directly from the PCOS machines, and why it has only received up to 76% of the election returns

Guia said the failure of 24% of precincts to transmit their election returns to the transparency server does not mean that the votes were lost.

It only means that PCOS machines in these precincts failed to transmit wirelessly and the results had to be transferred to the municipal board of canvassers through the CF cards, he explained. 

The transparency server is designed to allow citizens to compare the official results from the municipal, provincial and national canvassing with what was transmitted from the precinct level. - Rappler.com