Comelec campaigns to remove doubts on automated elections

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2018   •   4209

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) wants to employ concrete security features that will further protect the automation system of the 2019 midterm elections.

This is the priority of the agency cited by Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo during the Senate hearing at his confirmation by the Commission on Appointment (CA) on Wednesday (August 15).

Casquejo said they want to remove doubts on poll automation process cast by allegations of irregularities in the 2016 election that recently surfaced.

One of the measures that the poll body plans to impose would be the use of the board of election inspector’s digital signature to limit the number of persons transmitting the votes.

“That is to make sure the one transmitting from precinct level going to canvassing level would be the BEI itself who transmits the result because of the presence of the digital signature,” Casquejo said.

Comelec also plans to require additional details from voters which will appear in the voter’s receipt. Likewise, the agency will put QR codes in each official ballot to immediately identify its origin.

A public viewing of the source code review is also being considered. The source code serves as the blueprint of the vote counting machines and by opening the process to the public, defects and problems in functionalities of the machines will be easily identified.

The Comelec said that even without the controversial exposé of election fraud accuser Atty. Glenn Chong, the said measures are essential in an automated election.

“Nag-i-improve ang teknolohiya so every elections iyan, independently of the allegations of Mr Chong,” explained Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez.

Jimenez said the poll body is now scrutinizing the documents presented by Chong allegedly proving irregularities in the 2016 election.

“Kailangan ibangga yung dokumento niya duon sa alam natin na authentic na dokumento,” he concluded. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo

Youth groups stage protest vs Cardema’s congressional bid as Duterte Youth rep

Maris Federez   •   June 19, 2019

Youth groups congregated in front of the office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to protest against the congressional bid of former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman Ronald Cardema under the Duterte Youth party list.

Kabataan Partylist, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny and other youth groups voiced their opposition to Cardema’s bid and appeal to Comelec to junk the former official’s petition for a seat in Congress.

This, they say, will give Comelec the opportunity to prove that the last election was indeed fraud-free.

The group stressed that Cardema is not qualified to represent a youth group.

Comelec commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Luie Tito Guia had earlier stated Cardema cannot take a seat in Congress under the Duterte Youth party list for several grounds:

  1. that Cardema was not able to comply with the submission of documents when the Duterte Youth filed their Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA); and
  2. that Cardema already past the age requirement of 30 for a youth representative

Comelec is yet to come up with a final decision. (with reports from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

Comelec delays decision until petition vs Cardema is resolved

Maris Federez   •   June 19, 2019

Former National Youth Commission Chair Ronald Cardema

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to come up with a final decision on the case of National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman Ronald Cardema as a new petition has been filed before the poll body against his nomination as Duterte Youth representative.

Former Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Monday (June 17) filed a petition before the poll body to reject Cardema’s substitution bid.

Comelec First Division resumed hearing on Wednesday.  

“Pangalawa na po ito at pirmado ng mga Abugadong si Atty Sixto Brillantes at si Atty Romulo Macalintal. Dahil dito may hearing po ang First Division,” Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said.

She added, “maaaring ma- consolidate o isasabay na ang pagdedesisyon sa mga kasong ito para mapadali ang pag- resolusyon.”

Guanzon also said that they will not release their final decision until the hearings on all the petitions against Cardema’s bid for a congressional seat.

Guanzon and Commissioner Luie Tito Guia also stressed that Cardema cannot assume the position as the representative of Duterte Youth because he and the party-list group were not able to comply with the submission of documents when they filed their Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA).

The two Comelec officials added that Cardema is already past the required age of 30.

Under Republic Act 7941 or the Party-list System Act, youth party-list representatives must be within 25 and 30 age range.

Cardema’s camp, on the other hand, had earlier reiterated that Duterte Youth does not only represent the young people but also the young professionals that is why he is still qualified to sit as its first nominee. (with reports from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

PNP records 6,000 violators as election gun ban ends tomorrow

Maris Federez   •   June 11, 2019

Seized firearms from violators

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban will come to a close as the election period ends tomorrow, (June 12).

This gives way for gun owners to carry firearms outside of their homes as long as they have the permit to do so.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recorded more than six thousand violators of the gun ban since it was launched on January 13.

More than five thousand guns and close to fifty thousand deadly weapons were confiscated by the authorities.

PNP spokesperson PCol Bernard Banac said, “lahat ng mga ito ay nakalaboso at sinampahan ng kaukulang kaso. Doon naman sa mga pulis na lumabag ay meron po silang kinakaharap ngayon na kasong administratibo dahil sa paglabag sa ating mg alituntunin at patakaran [all of them were detained and were filed cases against. The police officers who violated (the gun ban), are now facing administrative cases for violating our rules and regulations].” (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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