Cayetano hits Comelec on plans for 2013 polls

Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes, however, shrugs off Sen Alan Peter Cayetano's complaints

HITTING COMELEC. Sen Alan Peter Cayetano files his certificate of candidacy Friday. Photo Don Regachuelo

MANILA, Philippines – Right after filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2013 senatorial race, Sen Alan Peter Cayetano criticized on Friday, October 5, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on some of its plans for the coming elections.

In an interview with reporters, Cayetano revealed that the poll body will be implementing “fundamental changes,” among them in the transmission of election results. He said the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) will not have its own server that will receive results from the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in the 2013 elections.

In the 2010 elections, KBP was given its own dedicated server to receive poll data straight from all the PCOS machines nationwide.

Depriving the KBP of results, according to Cayetano, will make the poll outcome suspicious. “For me, that’s bothering, because there are two important things every elections. It’s not only the reality that there’s no cheating; it’s the perception that there’s no cheating,” he said.

The senator also commented on tapping the National Printing Office (NPO), instead of a “reputable” private company, to print the ballots for 2013.

“Because when the oversight committee inspired NPO, for example, papers were only scattered. The office lacked security. Do we want to return to the time when there were a lot of syndicates selling extra ballots, et cetera?” he said.

Cayetano said Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes, among other commissioners, should be held accountable for this.

“He’s the one making decisions, and if not, he’s the one representing Comelec, that’s why he is answerable for this. To be fair to him, sometimes he has to consult the en banc,” siad Cayetano, who has been a vocal critic of Brillantes, the lawyer of his wife’s rival in the 2010 elections.

Brillantes, however, refused to respond and said he will explain instead at the Senate budget hearing on October 11. “This is a collegial body; I have been outvoted several times. So I cannot call the shots alone.” –


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