Critics jittery over mock polls turnout
MANILA - Critics panned the conduct of the mock elections over the weekend.
In a statement, former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gus Lagman believes the mock elections showed the failings of the automated election system.
"First, they cannot say that it was successful if they did not make public the criteria or parameters for a successful process. Second, I believe that in absolute terms, they failed to meet the Volunteer Voting Systems Guidelines (VVSG). Third, I understand there were many communications problems encountered," Lagman said.
Separately, National Movement for Free Elections secretary-general Eric Alvia tried to explain the discrepancies between the counts of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines and manual counting during the Random Manual Audit (RMA).
"Dicrepancy in UPIS [UP Integrated School] RMA results may be due to machine inaccuracy or the unclear procedure & guidelines in appreciating the ballot in a manual count," he said.
Alvia, however, would like to see some refinements in the RMA system.
Asked if the results worried them, he said, "If machine or system is the root cause, yes. If it's just a manner of appreciating the ballot, then it can be resolved through a supplemental or clarificatory resolution on the RMA procedure. The 2013 RMA resolution guidelines/IRR [Implementing Rules and Regulations] needs a lot of improvement. Heavy on organizational concerns but short on proper procedure," Alvia said.
Kontra Daya's Renato Reyes wants more mock elections and field tests since he feels the Comelec is not prepared for the elections.
"The mock polls continue to expose problems with the foreign-controlled automated polls and PCOS machines. They show how ill-prepared the Comelec is. Many of the problems pointed out by Kontra Daya in 2010 remain. We call for more mock polls and field tests. We call on the public to be ever vigilant especially during the final testing and sealing," Reyes said.