• Party-list group not accepting defeat

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    THE Confederation of Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations Inc. (Consla) is not taking its defeat in the party-list election sitting down without an acceptable explanation of the supposed discrepancies in the results released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and citizen arm Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) regarding the total number of votes it received in the May 9 polls.

    The Consla first nominee, retired Col. Ricardo Nolasco, appealed over the weekend to President Rodrigo Duterte for help, after the group filed a motion for intervention before the Supreme Court (SC) to compel the Comelec to conduct an independent investigation of its complaint.

    Consla, which claims to have more than one million voting members across the country, represents the military, police, teachers, call center agents, market vendors, miners and private and government employees.

    Nolasco claimed it defied logic that Consla got only 213,814 votes, good for 54th place or seven notches below the 48th and last winning slot out of a total of 115 contending party-list groups.

    He recalled that on May 10, 2016, at about 11 a.m., the PPRCV’s official Twitter account @PPRCV_2016 showed that Consla was 14th overall in its unofficial count with 523,753 votes, which increased to 555,896 votes an hour later.

    But Comelec’s official canvass showed that Consla failed to obtain even half of the votes tweeted by PPRCV.

    “It appears that there were large discrepancies between the votes for Consla as reported by the quick count conducted by the PPCRV, and broadcast through periodic updates of GMA-7 News and Public Affairs among other networks, and the official canvassing results determined by the Comelec,” said Nolasco in his 20-page petition.

    PPCRV spokeswoman Ana de Villa Singson admitted there were “issues” during their conduct of the quick count, specifically in the party-list race.

    “Our screens are networked. There was a networking connectivity issue rather than the data. The data was always correct,” Singson said.

    “That is the problem with having a lot of volunteers. Sometimes, they show you a lot of screens and, we can’t control it, but in the central server, we were able to show the wrong screen,” Singson explained, saying that after learning of the errors, they immediately worked on correcting the figures projected on their screen.

    But Consla is not accepting the explanation, saying that “PPCRV’s admission of its failure to monitor errors during its quick count operations makes it necessary and urgent for the poll body to commence with its own investigation.”

    Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the PPCRV should do the explaining because the quick count results were being questioned.

    “The discrepancy is between an unofficial source and the official result. So tingnan mo muna `yung [you should first take a look at the]unofficial [results]before you disturb the official one,” Jimenez added.

    “We are open to assisting people, explaining things. But you know, we should do it properly. Follow the process. You can’t just overturn the results if someone says they found something,” he said.

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