NEWLY appointed Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista could be the Aquino administration’s saving grace for clean and credible elections in 2016 even as an election watchdog lauded the former law dean for being open to alternative automated systems for next year’s polls.
A few days after being named as new Comelec chief, Bautista attended a forum and demonstration of alternative election systems sponsored by election watchdogs at the University of the Philippines last week.
The Citizens for Clean and Credible Elections (C3E) cited Bautista’s willingness to learn and generate consensus among stakeholders and concerned sectors on reforms that need to be instituted to help ensure honest and peaceful polls.
Bautista has said that the Comelec is ensuring that the 2016 local and national elections will be automated and will proceed as scheduled.
The poll body has narrowed down its preparations for next year’s polls to two options.
The first option is to re-bid the voided P268-million “midnight deal” fo diagnostics, refurbishment and repair of 82,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines and acquire an additional 20,000 counting machines.
The second option is the purchase of 100,000 new counting machines, also through competitive public bidding.
Bautista said “we were not closing our doors on other options,”adding that the Comelec’s primordial concerns are a transparent system that is advantageous to the government and clean, honest and credible elections.