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Comelec to probe on viral video of alleged pre-shading of ballots

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Courtesy: Kabataan Partylist Facebook page

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to probe the viral video showing the alleged “pre-shading” of ballots in Lanao del Sur.

According to Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez, the poll body will request the assistance of experts for forensic analysis. They will also seek the assistance of Facebook.

“Magre- request kami ng assistance from Facebook (We will request the assistance of Facebook) and perhaps refer it to the appropriate authorities for forensic analysis [but] we’re not dismissing it as fake. We’re not ready to make that determination yet. Alamin muna natin detalye ng video (We should first know the details of the video),” Jimenez said.

Comelec also calls on the video uploaders to come forward to expedite the process of investigation.

“We encourage whoever has information on this video to come forward and file a complaint. If it’s the original uploader themselves, then so much the better,” Jimenez adds.

However, Comelec cannot suspend the entire elections just because of speculations.

Meanwhile, the Board of Canvassers already tallied 114 Certificates of Canvass until 12:00 a.m.

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Duterte wants Smartmatic out of PH election

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 31st, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to find another service provider for the automated elections.

“I would like to advise Comelec now — hindi ko na lang hintayin — dispose of that Smartmatic and look for a new one that is free of fraud,” the President said during his meeting with the Filipino community in Japan on Thursday (May 30).

The poll body, for its part, welcomes the President’s preference for a different firm other than the controversy-stricken technology solutions firm Smartmatic.

“Malinaw naman siguro sa sinabi niya iyon pero malinaw din na hindi niya itinatakuwil ang ating automated system kundi lamang iyong supplier,” Comelec Spokesperon Director James Jimenez said.

(What he [Duterte] said was clear. He is not denouncing the automated system but only the supplier.)

However, the poll body maintained that they cannot just breach their contract and impose a ban on Smartmatic without any strong evidence.

“Kakailanganin natin ng legal basis to ban any supplier so iyon ang titignan natin,” Jimenez said emphasizing that it was Smartmatic that won the contract to handle the needs of the 2019 midterm polls.

(We will need a legal basis to ban any supplier and that is what we are contemplating.)

Aside from Smartmatic’s existing contract, additional funds will also be a concern but still, it is always possible to search for another service provider.

“Dumadaan tayo sa pubic bidding so there’s always a chance for that and the bidding schedules are designed to accommodate a new supplier,” he explained further.

Malacañang, meanwhile, was also quick to clarify the President’s statement saying he (Duterte) did not mean to give the impression that the recently concluded election was not honest nor credible.

“It is,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said referring to the credibility of the 2019 midterm polls.

Panelo explained that President Duterte was just responding to some concerns raised by both the opposition on certain technical glitches that raised questions on the technological competence of Smartmatic.

“The President wants that the future elections will not be subjected to the same aforementioned concerns,” Panelo said.

Panelo calls on Comelec to take President Duterte’s suggestion ‘seriously’ emphasizing that the poll body “should be the first one that should be fiercely protective of its image being the constitutional body mandated to safeguard the sanctity of the ballots.”

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DOTr, LTO to summon, charge driver in viral video

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that the person who was seen in a video driving a car on a public road while sitting in the passenger seat will be summoned to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Wednesday afternoon.

In a video posted and shared on social media, the person was seen driving a vehicle in daytime traffic from the passenger seat while smoking and fiddling with its horn.

He can also be heard bragging about his violation in the video.

“Basta lahat ng bawal ginagawa ko, napakatraffic talaga sa Maynila, doon sa mundo namin walang ganito. Dito, lahat bawal, doon walang bawal (beep) siya yun!” the guy said.

The video was originally posted on the Facebook account of a certain Miko Lopez last May 25 with a caption “ngayon mo ko hulihin kuya.”

It was shared on social media group “JDM Tayo Paps” by Facebook user Axel Farinas which drew criticisms from internet users.

But instead of showing remorse, Lopez even taunted his critics to do something about it if they can, based on their exchanges in the comment section of the video.

He even posted a photo about driving a car without a steering wheel to ridicule his attackers.

A netizen who got peeved with Lopez brought the matter to the attention of the authorities.

Talagang ipapahuli ka namin, kuya. 😡LTO Philippines, please make sure this person doesn’t get a license again… ever. HUWAG PO NATING TULARAN. ANG PAGMAMANEHO, HINDI TRIP TRIP LANG.[Video and Photo Courtesy: Mr. Axel Farinas] [Actual Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/154402621561259/permalink/867178410283673?sfns=mo]

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Tuesday, 28 May 2019

In a post on Twitter, the DOTr confirmed that the man in the video was identified as Miko Lopez and that he will be summoned to answer the issue.

“Miko Lopez will be summoned to LTO today. He has already been identified and address was already determined,” the DOTr said.

“The LTO will charge him for reckless driving, illegal modification (removing the steering wheel), not wearing seatbelt, and improper person to operate a motor vehicle,” the agency added.

The DOTr further stated that Lopez’s license will be revoked and he will also be disqualified from applying for a driver’s license again in the future.

“If he does not appear, LTO will resolve this issue on the basis of evidence presented,” the DOTr added.

In a separate statement, LTO executive director Romeo Vera Cruz chastised Lopez’s antics, saying this poses a danger to himself and other people.

“This video is clear proof that he is an improper person to operate a vehicle, aside from committing traffic violations,” he said.

DOTr Undersecretary for road transport Mark de Leon, meanwhile, said that this incident should serve as a stern warning and called on the public to report this kind of violation to merit swift action.

“Huwag nating i-mock ang kakayanan ng gobyerno by clearly disobeying traffic rules. Nakaligtas ka man noong oras na ginawa mo ‘yan, we will make sure you will get penalized,” he added. (with details from Joan Nano)

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Winning candidates cannot assume office without submitting SOCE—Comelec

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

The proclamation of winning senators in the 2019 midterm elections

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) warned winning candidates
on Friday (May 24) that they cannot assume office without submitting their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) on or before June 13.

“Under the law, all candidates and political parties are required to submit their SOCE within 30 days after the elections. However, considering that the last day of filing of SOCE is June 12 which is a holiday, the Philippine Independence Day, SOCE can still be submitted the following day, the 13th of June, 2019,” Jimenez said.

Based on the Omnibus Election Code provision, “no person elected to any public office should enter upon the duties of his or her office until he/she has filed the SOCE herein required to be submitted to Comelec within 30 days since the election day.”

This also applies to candidates who were not able to secure a seat in government office.  

Candidates who fail to submit their SOCE will face administrative sanctions.

“The submission of the SOCE by mail, courier or any other messenger services will not be accepted, while failure to file the SOCE will result in administrative sanction against the candidates and political parties,” Jimenez said.

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