Press Release
April 17, 2010


Liberal Party (LP) vice-presidential bet frontrunner Senator Mar Roxas II expressed deep concern today over admissions by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that results of the May 10 automated elections would be known in three days, contrary to earlier pronouncements that final poll results will be known in an instant.

Roxas also questioned the statement of Comelec spokesman James Jimenez that computation of the results in the precinct level - the first stage of the canvassing -- would have to be done by the political parties because the poll body was not required to total the results of the precinct voting or to post the consolidated results of the voting in real time on a website.

Jimenez has announced the yet-to-be-disclosed website would contain only unconsolidated results from the 76,000 precincts nationwide. The Comelec would likewise not provide a running tally on the website.

"Bumabalik ba tayo sa manual election? Kaya nga nag-automate ng halalan ay upang mapabilis ang paglabas ng resulta at matigil ang dayaan (Are we going back to manual election? Elections have been automated for speedy result and to stop cheating)," Roxas said.

Roxas said posting the final tally in the website would be helpful to the Senate and the House of Representatives, convened as a National Board of Canvassers, in the tabulation and consolidation of the results of the May 10 elections.

"Posting the results in the presidential and vice-presidential race would determine if there is any discrepancy between the Comelec's and Congress' tally," he said, stressing this would likewise serve as a deterrent to possible tampering of the votes.

The LP bet said he expects the Arroyo administration and its allies to attempt to stop the LP tandem of Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and Roxas from winmning in the elections.

Also, Roxas said the Comelec should stick to its original two-day time frame for the announcement of election results, stressing any extension would further heighten fears of massive election fraud.

Jimenez said results of its tally would be announced only after the canvassing at the municipal and provincial levels are completed, which is expected to take about 2 to 3 days after the elections. Before this new timeline for the announcement of the results of the elections, Jimenez announced that results of the voting would be known within 48 hours.

"These are scary developments in the AES," Roxas said.

Aquino and Roxas have cited alarming lapses in the preparations for the automated polls, such as questionable source code review requirements, electricity supply problems, absence of means to verify ultra-violent marks in official ballots, uncertain conduct of a random manual audit, absence of a clear back-up plan, and an unfair ballot design, among others.

The LP tandem said such slip-ups could be part of an administration-hatched "grand scheme" to tamper with the results of the May 10 polls. "Kailangang bantayan mabuti ang halalan na ito. Ito ang magiging daan ng ating mga kababayan tungo sa pababago. Sawang-sawa na tayo sa baluktot na pamamalakad (The public should continue to be vigilant. The elections would be the way towards genuine reform and change. We are sick and tired of crooked governance)," Roxas said.

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