2016 polls: More questions than answers

MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has failed to provide answers to alleged irregularities in the 2016 poll elections, a senator said in a hearing earlier this week.

In a Senate hearing on electoral reforms on Tuesday (July 31), committee chairman Senator Aquilino Pimentel III expressed frustration over how the poll body could not explain why there were transmissions done a day before the May 9, 2016 elections.

Pimentel said he wanted a more elaborate explanation on why there were transmission logs on May 8, 2016 when it was supposed to be "quiet time" or a day when no activity should be taking place.

They (Comelec) submitted logs but submitted May 9, 2016 while the issue is early transmission, the relevant date would be May 8, 2016. So it's true that they submitted logs but it's not on the relevant date, Pimentel said.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III earlier claimed, in his privilege speech, that a source had given him information that there were transmissions as early as May 8, particularly in Bicol, and sought for the logs.

Can you also provide us now with a copy of these logs? These logs were the early transmissions that I mentioned in my privilege speech. They started May 8, one day before elections, Sotto asked Comelec during the hearing.

Comelec Executive Director Jose Tolentino, however, said the poll body only had logs for May 8 available. He also explained Comelec had a voluminous log and had to verify each one.

Tolentino added that there is a need to determine if the transmissions sent any result.

We still have to verify it. The logs are too many, sir. It's very voluminous and we'll just have to verify each and every one, Tolentino said.

Hybrid polls

Pimentel, meanwhile, said he is open to the possibility of having a "hybrid manual-and-automated" poll system in future elections to prevent irregularities during elections.

It was also Sotto's suggestion to consider adopting hybrid poll system.

However, Pimentel said that there is no time to adopt a hybrid poll system in the 2019 mid-term elections. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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