Press Release
March 25, 2010


Sen. Chiz Escudero said that the conduct of end-to-end mock elections at the Senate today was an exercise to look for gaps which the Congressional Oversight Committee on Poll Automations hopes to fill in before the actual day of the elections.

Escudero, chairman of the oversight committee said the demonstration was conducted not to prove or disprove anything but to help Comelec attain their objective for a clean and honest elections and that there will be no failure of elections.

"The entire committee shares this objective with the Comelec that is why the primary goal for this exercise is to tie loose ends which might be remedied by simple regulations by the committee in partnership with Comelec."

The senator said the committee will wait for the submission of observations and assessments from related groups invited to participate in the poll simulation before it comes out with its official assessment.

"We want to come out with a comprehensive report based on this exercise because a sweeping assessment will defeat our purpose for this exercise. As I have said before and will say it again now, there are still a lot of gray areas to be addressed in relation to the conduct of an automated poll."

The assessment is expected to be released early next week.

He said that among them is the ability of the servers in the municipal and provincial levels and its main server to take in all electronically transmitted data from its 76, 000 polling precincts.

He also said PCOS machines have yet to be field tested in polling precincts nationwide to test mobile network signals.

"Technical glitches are just some of our concerns but these might account for the bulk of our problems on election. This is why we want to see more dry runs in various parts of the country."

Escudero said since this is the first time that the country is doing a full automated elections "birthing and growing pains" are really likely to be experienced.

"We are doing this automation hurriedly and we have no choice but to face it since it is already here. We have to fill in the gaps, no matter how belatedly. But I hope whatever pains we are undergoing and we will undergo will not be enough reasons to bungle the May elections."

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