Watchdog Lente replaces Namfrel in auditing 2019 votes

MANILA, Philippines – The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) replaced the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) as member of the committee tasked to audit votes in the May 13 elections, an election official said.

Lente is now part of the committee that will conduct the random manual audit (RMA) of the May 13 elections. 

The RMA is the process by which auditors, in sample precincts, manually tally the votes already counted by vote-counting machines (VCMs). This is to ensure that VCMs counted votes correctly.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Luie Tito Guia said Lente "has been recognized as a member of the RMA committee."

"Lente is now the civil society organization member in the RMA committee. It used to be Namfrel in 2016," said Guia.

Lente is undertaking this role after Namfrel earlier declined its accreditation to become the Comelec's citizen arm for the May 13 elections. 

The Comelec had accredited Namfrel to monitor and observe the automated election system, and to join the RMA. Namfrel however rejected the accreditation because it also wanted access to Comelec data for its open election data website for the midterm polls. (READ: Comelec 'surprised' over Namfrel rejection to be its citizen arm)

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at