Press Release
October 11, 2007


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today accused the Commission on Elections of sleeping on its job in the wake of the revelation about its failure to purge the list of voters of an estimated 3 million flying or bogus voters.

Pimentel said the continued existence of this huge number of spurious voters greatly undermines the integrity of the electoral process but the Comelec appears to be impervious to the grave problem and its deleterious effects.

As disclosed to a national newspaper by a ranking Comelec official on condition of anonymity, there are about 3 million double and multiple registrants or flying voters in the list of voters. But the official said the poll body was not able to deactivate or drop the fake votes before the Oct. 29 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections due to time constraints.

Pimentel said that the failure to eliminate flying voters was one of the many irregularities and scandals that have rocked the Comelec under resigned Chairman Benjamin Abalos that have eroded public confidence in the poll body and led to the bungling of electoral exercises during his term.

"Now that Abalos is no longer its chairman, the Comelec has the golden opportunity to cleanse its ranks of scalawags and the voters list of flying voters and double or triple registrants," he said.

The minority leader said the Comelec should begin the cleansing process now and go for a cleansed list of voters in time for the 2010 national and local elections.

He emphasized that efforts to prevent electoral fraud through automation will not yield the desired results unless the registry of voters is sanitized first.

"Unless the Comelec purges itself of its notorious operators and the voters list of those who should not be there, the computerization that we all want to see done on time for the 2010 elections would have no meaning," Pimentel said.

"To repeat a trite observation, garbage in, garbage out. Then, we won't see honest elections in our lifetime. This is the challenge that Comelec faces right now and it should respond to that challenge immediately."

Records of the Comelec Barangay Affairs Department showed that there are about 51 million registered voters for the Oct. 29 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

This means that there is an additional 6 million voters since the May, 2007 elections when there were 45 million voters registered. Election authorities had earlier projected the number of voters will increase only 3 million after the registration of new voters last August.

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