Palace clarifies PRRD remarks vs. Smartmatic

Smartmatic is a response to concerns raised but does not mean it diminishes the credibility of the recently-concluded 2019 midterm elections.

"The President's MANILA MalacaAang on Friday clarified that President Rodrigo R. Duterte's remarks against latest remarks on Smartmatic does not mean that the just-concluded elections is not honest nor credible. It is," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement.

"The President's remarks is a response to some concerns raised by both the opposition, the administration supporters as well as civic groups relative to the previous and present elections on certain technical glitches that precipitate questions on the technological competence of Smartmatic," he added.

Panelo said Duterte is not comfortable with concerns raised on the credibility of the elections.

"The President is not comfortable with these allegations that produce a whiff of fraud or delay in the announcing of the election results," he said.

Panelo cited the 2016 presidential elections where three million votes were allegedly taken away from Duterte, who was then Davao City mayor.

"The opposition candidates have been heard to complain that they could have gotten more votes in the last elections, not necessarily enough to win the Senate seats, but not as low as the official turn out. Comelec said about two million votes were invalidated because of overvotes," he said.

"The President wants that the future elections will not be subjected to the same aforementioned concerns," he added.

Panelo said Comelec should take seriously the suggestion of the President.

"After all it (Comelec) should be the first one that should be fiercely protective of its image being the constitutional body mandated to safeguard the sanctity of the ballots," he said.

Duterte on Thursday advised Comelec to let go of the services of Smartmatic in the country's automated elections.

The President said he can only advise Comelec because it is an independent Constitutional body. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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