Press Release
May 14, 2009

Zubiri dares Comelec to fulfill commitment to computerize 2010 polls

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri today urged the Commission on Elections to exert all efforts to ensure that the automation of the 2010 synchronized elections will push through.

The Majority Leader issued the appeal following the statement of Comelec spokesman James Jimenez that the election body is looking at the possibility of limiting the scope of election automation due to a failure of bidding for the purchase of the computerization equipment and the counting machines.

Zubiri said the poll body should carry out the commitment it made to the Senate during the deliberations on the P11.3 billion Supplemental Budget for the 2010 poll automation.

"I have said before we (senators) have done our job to come out with the supplemental budget for the poll automation. The ball now is in the hands of the Comelec. It is time that they do their job to make sure that poll automation happens in 2010," he said.

Based on the Comelec's revised automation implementation calendar, the automated machines must be delivered between Oct. 1 and Dec. 30 this year to give time for machine testing scheduled on Nov. 12, 2009 to February 12, 2010.

The Majority Leader said that, "if in the process the Comelec has to make adjustments on the requirement of the bidding process then so be it, as long as it is unanimously accepted in the Comelec En Banc session by all the members."

"As long as it is unanimously accepted by the en banc session with all members approving a more liberal requirement for the bidders, then I would prefer to see it that way rather than going back to the old mano-mano system which we all know is full of loopholes and anomalies," he added.

He said that like all other candidates, he would "not anyone to go through an election wherein their win is in question. We want to see a change in the mindset of how we conduct elections in this country, so whoever is proclaimed by Comelec will have the true mandate of the people."

"Like all the rest of the nation, I, too wish that the next batch of leaders especially this coming 2010 will be able to lead the nation without having their assumption to office questioned. It is the best gift that we, the present leaders of this Congress can give to our next batch of political leaders and to the Filipino people," he said.

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