Groups challenge poll conduct anew before the Ombudsman

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The Commission on Election (Comelec) has yet again heaped protest before the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged lack of safety tenets in the May 2013 elections.

Filing charges of violation of automated election law, the Tanggulang Demokrasya and Bagumbayan charged on Thursday morning before the anti-graft agency incumbent Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes and commissioners Christian Robert Lim, Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph, and Grace Padaca.

Former poll chairman Jose Melo and commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Armando Velasco, Rene Sarmiento and Gregorio Larazabal are also named defendant, as well as, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting chief Henrietta de Villa.

Private individuals from Smartmatic Corp. are also indicted, among them, Antonio Mugica, Cesar Flores, Jose Mari Antuñez, Juan Villa Jr., Salvador Aque, and Nilo Cruz.

The groups’ lawyer, Rodolfo Reyes, said that the Comelec has scrapped five safety measures that were originally should have been in placed to safeguard the sanctity of ballots.

These are the review of the source code, the digital signature, the voter verification, the paper trail audit, and the random manual audit.

Reyes also cited the “60-30-10” pattern vote distribution to the candidates of Liberal Party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), and other political groups, respectively.

The groups said that the Ombudsman must investigate the flawed conduct of the election.

Reyes clarified that the filing of charge is not to contest the election result and the precarious position of losing senator Dick Gordon, the frontrunner of Bagumbayan partylist who sided with UNA.

Gordon finished at 13th spot in the senatorial race out of the 12 viable positions.

However, Reyes said that without these five safety measures in place, “hindi [tayo]nakakasiguro sa resulta [We cannot be sure of the election result.]”

 

 

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