Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

Guanzon questions NPO on ‘subcontracted’ printing of voter info sheet

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon

MANILA, Philippines – An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday questioned the National Printing Office (NPO) on its alleged subcontracting of the printing of the voter’s information sheet for the 2019 midterm polls.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said they are seeking clarification from the NPO following the discovery of some errors in the printed information sheet just days before the elections.

“Dahil government to government eh walang bidding, tapos nalaman ko at sagutin nila ako kung totoo. Tanungin niyo sila, pina-subcontract ba nila sa Holy Family Printing Press ang voter information sheet namin?” Guanzon said at a chance interview at the National Board of Canvassers for the Senate and party-list race on Wednesday.

She noted that NPO’s alleged subcontracting is against the rules of the Commission on Audit (COA). Under the law, the NPO is mandated to provide printing services to government agencies and instrumentalities.

“Kaya nga sila ang pinili namin para wala na kaming bidding,” she said.

The poll official said the errors contained in the printed voter information sheets could have confused voters and resulted in a failure of elections.

“Mabuti na lang naagapan and the Comelec en banc ordered na huwag i-distribute ‘yung voter information sheets,” she said.

Guanzon added that the NPO should clarify the issue because they may be held liable for it.

“NPO should be asked because they are accountable for this. Siningil nila kami ng P4.00 per voter information sheet na napakaliit ng print,” she said.

“Kung totoo iyan, and some directors answer my question, Holy Family Printing ang nag-deliver sa kanila at mali-mali,” she added.

The NPO has yet to issue any comment on the matter as of posting time. (with details from Aiko Miguel)

Tags: , , , , ,

Opposition supporters question Comelec over alleged anomalies

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019

Members of Tindig Pilipinas and the Silent Majority protesting the technical glitches that were encountered during the May 13, 2019 polls Courtesy : FB page of Now You Know

MANILA, Philippines – Supporters of the opposition group on Friday questioned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on alleged anomalies in the May 13 midterm elections.

Members of Tindig Pilipinas and the Silent Majority gathered in front of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City where the Comelec is canvassing votes for the senatorial and party-list elections.

The groups were protesting the technical glitches that were encountered during the polls, such as defective secure digital (SD) cards and vote-counting machines (VCM), as well as the seven-hour delay in transmitting data from Comelec’s transparency server.

Members of said cause-oriented groups, who were chanting “what happened to the midterm elections, Comelec?” repeatedly during their picket, were also demanding the poll body to explain the alleged irregularities that cast doubts on the credibility of the midterm polls.

They also sought to question the poll body for its alleged mishandling and inaction of supposed anomalies observed, including the designation of Nacionalista Party as the minority party, the disenfranchisement of voters, and the “blatant commission” of pre-campaign and campaign violations of some candidates such as electioneering and vote-buying.

Tags: , , , ,

Malacañang expects Go, Bato, Tolentino to be independent as senators

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

(L-R) Former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, former special assistant to the president Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (May 16) said it expects incoming senators, particularly those who are close allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, to be independent when it comes to issues involving national interest.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement following concerns that the check and balances in government may be affected as administration-backed Senate bets look set to join the upper chamber of Congress.

Partial and unofficial count from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed that nine Senate bets endorsed by Duterte are in the top 12.

These are reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar, former special assistant to the president Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano, reelectionist senators Sonny Angara and Koko Pimentel, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and former Senator Bong Revilla.

Three of them – Go, Dela Rosa and Tolentino – are known close allies of Duterte.

Panelo, however, believes that the three will do their job well and always put first the best interest of the nation.

 “It’s just happened that they are very close to the president but that doesn’t mean they will be subservient,” he said.

“Whether or not Senate or Congress is dominated by the allies of whoever is incumbent, we expect them to pass economic reforms that will be beneficial to the Filipino people. The issue on whether you are an ally or not should not be discussed,” he added.

Panelo stressed that the mandate of the Congress is to pass laws that will be beneficial for the people.

“It’s about time to eradicate the discussion on parties’ consideration. That is where we fail,” he said.

Aside from Duterte’s allies, other senatorial candidates who are in the winners’ circle based on partial tally are reelectionist senators Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, and former senator Lito Lapid. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Tags: , , , , ,

Comelec Exec says supplier of ‘faulty’ SD cards shouldn’t be paid in full

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Wednesday that the supplier of the secure digital (SD) cards used in the 2019 midterm elections should not be paid in full.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said this during a chance interview at the National Board of Canvassers for the Senate and party-list race.

“Pero ang gusto kong i-announce, ito ha, this is my personal view, itong supplier ng SD cards ay hindi naman babayaran ng buo,” she said.

“Ipapasuri ko ‘yan, ‘yung proseso ng bidding at ‘yung pagdeliver nila ng cards kasi iyan po talaga ang nagging culprit,” she added.

Guanzon made the remark after the poll body revealed that 1,665 of the SD cards provided by the S1 Technologies and Silicon Valley Computer Group had encountered multiple problems during election day.

The Comelec reported on Tuesday that 1.9 percent of the 85,769 SD cards used in the 2019 midterm national and local elections were defective. The supposed faulty SD cards have been blamed for the errors in 961 vote-counting machines (VCM) during polls.

These figures are higher than the 120 SD cards and 801 VCMs replaced in the 2016 polls.

The S1 company bagged the contract to supply the SD cards for P22.6 million, but according to Guanzon, it would be a waste if they will pay for the damaged cards.

“Under COA (Commission on Audit) rules, even if they deliver and hindi namin nagamit iyan because it would have resulted to chaos. Hindi namin sila kailangang bayaran,” she said.

Guanzon said she will bring up the proposal to withhold the payment before the Comelec en banc, clarifying that the matter has yet to be decided amid ongoing investigation on the suppliers of SD cards, marking pens and VCMs.

She also said that the poll body is open to place its transparency server data logs under a third-party audit to clear the issues over the delay in transmitting of real-time election results, which Comelec earlier attributed to an application error in the transparency server.

Guanzon added that it would be better if the audit will be conducted by an independent party to disprove allegations on poll fraud.

“Yes, third-party audit, pati PPCRV of course, NAMFREL. They are going to have access; we will give them access. I am sure the other commissioners also agree to this suggestion of Commissioner Guia,” she said.

Guanzon also said that they cannot blame others for doubting the integrity of the poll results following the technical glitches that marred the elections.

“They have a right to say that kasi nga 7 to 8 hours iyong delay. Ang sinasabi lang namin you can verify it. Willing naman kami na may third party na audit diyan, ng logs,” she said.

“I can assure that personally na wala pong daya diyan o magic,” she added. (with details from Aiko Miguel)

Tags: , , , , ,