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Why stop partylist vote count?

/ 08:13 PM May 19, 2013

The Commission on Elections decided to suspend the canvassing of party-list votes late afternoon of May 14, purportedly because of “issues” arising from the inclusion of disqualified party-list groups in the ballot. The Katribu, an indigenous peoples sectoral party, is going to raise no objection should the Comelec write off the votes cast for disqualified party-lists. But, definitely, we see no credible reason for the Comelec to stop tallying the votes cast for party-list groups while it continues to count the votes cast for the senatorial candidates.

The electorate should not be made to suffer further bastardization of their right to vote. Months before the May 2013 elections, the voters were already subjected to so much abuse by the Comelec through the latter’s inconsistent rulings on dubious party-list groups pretending to represent the marginalized.

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The suspension of the canvassing of party-list votes is unnecessary and suspicious, given the fact that the transmission of votes for senators and the votes for partylists is being done simultaneously.

With so many reports on discrepancies in election returns, election failures and delays in the transmission of election results, the suspension is one more anomaly that further casts doubt on the credibility of the May 2013 elections. In indigenous peoples’ areas like the Cordillera and Caraga, the transmission of votes has been painfully slow; while in Taytay, Palawan, 99 percent of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines did not function, contrary to what the Comelec had assured before the elections. Election failures were declared in Baguio and Compostela Valley. Given all this, we cannot help but fear that in the recently concluded polls, the indigenous peoples would once again end up disenfranchised.

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Worse, the suspension of the party-list canvass, coupled with the massive fraud-via-PCOS machines, may be another scheme to ease out the truly deserving party-list groups from Congress. Delaying the canvassing of the party-list votes may just be another ploy to rig and manipulate the partylist elections.

There is no need for the Comelec to stop the party-list count. The Comelec can simply subtract the votes for the disqualified groups from the total party-list votes. This is elementary mathematics.

Also, the Comelec should answer for the transmission delays, PCOS malfunctions and glitches, boo-boos and fraud in the May 2013 elections. We detest the seeming nonchalance of Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes and the Aquino administration toward the various anomalies, violence and corruption that attended the May 2013 polls. These constituted a serious violation of the people’s right of suffrage. The President’s and Brillantes’ indifference to such a serious violation is an insult to the people.

—KAKAY TOLENTINO,

Katribu,

[email protected]

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TAGS: 2013 Elections, Comelec, nation, news, Partylist
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