COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Thursday said the just concluded elections may have had its “imperfections” but it was the “best elections” the country has ever had.
Brillantes refuted claims by an international observers team that found “serious irregularities” in last Monday’s polls. He explained that glitches and deficiencies found by the members of the 2013 International Observers’ Mission were normal because there is no such thing as “perfect” elections.
“The foreign observers found some glitches, some deficiencies. If there are no glitches, if there are no deficiencies then the elections here is like heaven, it’s a perfect election,” the poll chief said.
“It’s not perfect. There are deficiencies, there are defects and there are some irregularities, but compared to the past elections before 2013, this should be one of the best elections that we have,” he added.
On Wednesday, the foreign observers organized by the Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections (Compact) reported vote-buying and intimidation as some serious irregularities during the recently concluded polls.
While they said the 2013 election was generally peaceful and orderly, they were quick to qualify that other problems were observed including underage voting, election related violence, no ballot secrecy and long queues because some areas had problematic voter’s lists and clustering of precincts.
Brillantes said the poll body can’t ask the team of foreign observers to submit reports since it has no jurisdiction over the team.
Comelec Resolution 9652 allowed foreign observers to monitor the conduct of elections in any locality; conduct brief interviews with the chairman and members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) inside the polling place; conduct interviews with voters and other persons outside the polling place; and document their observation activities, as well as the conduct of elections, by means of audio, visual, or audio-visual recordings.
After the polls, foreign observers are also allowed to monitor all the proceedings in the precinct until the counting and transmission of votes are over; and keep track of the transport of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines after the voting, counting, and transmission.