Comelec regional chief: VCMs in Central Visayas accurate

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) director for Central Visayas said on Friday, May 6, that the final testing and sealing (FTS) of the vote-counting machines (VCMs) in his region was successful.

"So far, the machines accurately read 'yung mga na-shade natin. So mali 'yung mga sinasabi nilang biased machine (So far, the machines accurately read the votes. So the people who said the machines are biased are wrong)," Jose Nick Mendros explained. (READ: Duterte lawyer: Votes went to Roxas in VCM testing)

Polling precincts in Central Visayas – composed of the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Siquijor – held the FTS on Friday morning.

Members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) practiced operating the machines under the supervision of Comelec officers. Sample ballots were given out to those who wanted to try voting.

Mendros personally supervised the testing in the polling center at Guadalupe Elementary School.

Guadalupe has the most number of voters in Cebu City with 20,073 registered voters. Early Friday morning, 35 VCMs were deployed to the Guadalupe Elementary School.

Cebu province is also the most vote-rich province in the country with 2.7 million votes.

Mendros cited posts being circulated on Facebook, where people claimed that their voting receipts were incorrect during the FTS.

"The whole Region 7 ngayon ginagawa ang simultaneous testing and sealing. So mali 'yung mga sinasabi na lumalabas na may final testing and sealing na ang lumabas dito sa Region 7 na boto para kay Duterte, na-print kay Roxas. Mali iyan. Ngayon pa lang ho tayo nagco-conduct ng final testing and sealing," he said.

(The whole Region 7 is holding the simultaneous testing and sealing today. So it's not true what they said that the results of the final testing and sealing here in Region 7 resulted in votes meant for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte being recorded for Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II. That's not true. We just conducted the final testing and sealing today.)

Rappler was also able to test the machines at the Guadalupe precinct and none of the receipts came out different from the candidate voted for on the ballot.

Each precinct has technicians for monitoring and assistance in case there are problems with the VCMs.

One technician assigned to the polling center at Guadalupe Elementary School said that they have yet to encounter major glitches.

Two police officers are also deployed to each precinct in the province to guard the VCMs.

On May 5, 4,066 VCMs were delivered to Cebu's cities and municipalities. Aside from these, 158 contingency machines arrived in the province on May 4. 

Mendros said he expects 85% voter turnout in the province on May 9–