MANILA, Philippines – Citing the slow transmission of election results, the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) asked the Commission on Elections on Wednesday, May 15, to suspend the proclamation of new senators.
Sherwin Gatchalian, UNA deputy secretary-general, said the coalition filed a petition to stop the proclamation of winning senators, which the Comelec intends to do on Thursday or Friday. “It has to do with the [delayed] transmission,” Gatchalian said in a phone interview as he confirmed earlier reports about the UNA petition.
On Wednesday, Rappler reported that the transmission of the votes to the Comelec’s Transparency Server has slowed down.
Since Tuesday morning, May 14, the percentage of precincts accounted for nationwide has stayed steady at 69%. As of 11:26 am on Wednesday, May 15, a total of 24,090 precincts nationwide have not yet been received by the Commission on Elections’ Transparency Server.
These precincts account for 15.4 million voters or almost a third of total voters nationwide. Based on our own calculation of current average precinct turnout of 77.26%, this means that the system is still missing some 11.9 million votes from Filipinos who went out to vote on May 13.
Based on partial unofficial tallies on the Rappler Mirror Server, Team PNoy is leading UNA 9-3. It’s also 9-3 in favor of Team PNoy in the latest official count of the Comelec,
The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) also raised concerns about the turtle-paced transmission of results from some areas to the Comelec’s Transparency Server.
Based on data reflected in the Comelec server, Namfrel said only 69.23% of Election Returns (ERs) had been received 44 hours after the polls closed, leaving more than 30% of ERs at risk of being manipulated.
“The possibility of manipulation remains,” Namfrel’s Damaso Magbual said in a news conference Wednesday. He pointed out that as delays in the transmission of ERs are prolonged, “the credibility [of the results of the elections] grows weaker.”
Magbual said the 30% unreported ERs, or 24,082 ERs in all, easily translates to at least 10 million votes, which could significantly alter the results in the senatorial and party-list races.
He argued that in 2010, the first nationwide automated polls, 80% of ERs have already been reported within 12 hours after the polls closed.
Poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr however quelled fears of manipulation after he admitted delays in the senatorial tally that he left unexplained.
Brillantes explained the canvassing for senators in 2010, after all, took longer. The National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), which is composed of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc, then proclaimed only 9 senators 5 days after the May 10, 2010 elections.
The poll chief said some “technical problems” have hampered the transmission of results so far. He refused to disclose these problems – to avoid blowing these out of proportion, according to him. These problems may require the Comelec to use physical storage devices to get results from the provinces. – with reports from Jee Geronimo/Rappler.com