Malacañang wants voter receipt issue resolved ASAP to allay fears
MANILA, Philippines – To allay public concerns over the credibility of the national polls less than two months away, Malacañang on Saturday, March 12, called on the Supreme Court (SC) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to immediately resolve the issue over the requirement to print voting receipts.
In an interview over radio , Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III, head of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, said, "I think we should all hope that the Comelec and the Supreme Court will face these issues and resolve them at the soonest possible time para wala ngang pangamba (so there will be no fears)."
The poll body on Friday appealed the High Tribunal's ruling compelling the Comelec to issue voting receipts.
In its ruling, the SC said the law “is clear” about the required Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the automated election system, and added that paper ballots cannot replace voting receipts.
The High Court also slammed the Comelec for its "lackadaisical" attitude toward the petition filed by senatorial candidate Richard Gordon and his party, Bagumbayan. (READ: Why Comelec failed to defend itself before SC: 'We were busy')
The SC ruling now forces the Comelec to cram 5 months of preparations – including the reconfiguration of more than 92,500 memory cards and the bidding out of an additional 1.2 million rolls of thermal paper – in just 60 days.
Because of this, the poll body said it might recommend the postponement of the May 9 elections "to an appropriate date before June 30, 2016."
Asked about Malacañang's response to public discomfort over the fairness and credibility of the polls amid the issues hounding the Comelec, Quezon pointed out that the Comelec can avail of legal processes to appeal the SC's ruling. He also said that it was important for media to shed light on the implications of the court's decision.
Quezon also said that President Benigno Aquino III would want to ensure clean, credible elections before he bows out from office.
"It's the obligation of every president na siguraduhin na talagang malinis at may kredibilidad ang eleksyon. (It's the obligation of every president to ensure that the elections are clean and credible.) But at the same time, a president can only do so much," Quezon said.
"We can all appeal that this matter should be resolved at the soonest possible time, but sa paraan na malilinawan lahat at hindi naman magdadagdag sa pangamba o pagdududa ng ating kababayan," he added.
(We can all appeal that this matter should be resolved at the soonest possible time, but in a manner in which everyone is enlightened about the issues and it won't add to the public's worries or skepticism.) – Rappler.com
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