Former Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes (third from the right)
PASAY CITY, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes and a poll watchdog engaged in a heated argument on Monday (August 6) during a Senate inquiry on the alleged irregularities in the 2016 national elections.
Brillantes questioned the claims of Poll watchdog Tanggulang Demokrasya that the election was rigged citing an image presented by Atty. Glenn Chong, the accuser of the poll irregularities, on alleged selling of voters’ database in 2015.
“Ang nagbebenta po nito dating election officer ng Maragondon, Cavite ( A former election officer in Maragondon, Cavite is selling [voters’ database]),” said Chong.
But Brillantes urged the group to present more credible evidence to prove their claims.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III suggested that Comelec should investigate the matter as he has been receiving reports from different parts of the country about the alleged ballot selling.
“May mga nagbanggit sa akin, taga Nueva Ecija, taga Iloilo, na inaalok ng kung anu anong mga sistema na imbestigahan talaga ng Comelec iyan (People from Nueva Ecija and Iloilo have mentioned to me about different systems being offered that Comelec really should investigate.) ,” Sotto said
Sotto said he will force the poll body to disclose its audit logs to determine the transmission activities involving the vote counting machines prior to the election day and to confirm if there was any irregularity that happened.
“The Office of the Senate President, thru the Committee will issue subpoena duces tecum,” he added.
The issue remained unresolved as there are still a lot of things that the Comelec should explain regarding the allegations, according to Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms Chairman Aquilino Pimentel III.
“Marami talagang pangyayari na dapat ipaliwanag ng Comelec (Comelec has a lot to explain). Some maybe glitch but still we need an explanation from the Comelec, bakit nangyayari ito (why these things are happening),” he said. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo