Press Release
April 26, 2010

Aquino Calls for Parallel Manual Count

Leading presidential candidate Benigno "Noynoy" S. Aquino III has joined calls made by various groups for a simplified parallel manual count to ensure the credibility of the May polls.

Aquino signed an open letter dated April 25, 2010, requesting the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to conduct a simplified parallel manual count for the president, vice president and any of three local posts: governor, congressman, or mayor. The results of the parallel manual count will be compared to the tally by precinct count optical scan machines.

"The credibility of automated elections has suffered because the COMELEC has removed many of the safeguards that were initially set in place--a credible source code review, ultra-violet mark checking, and the authenticity check through digital signatures, among others," the letter said.

"Credibility and acceptance of the outcome of the elections can be restored by simply adding this one step - the parallel manual count," it added.

Several presidential candidates echoed Aquino's call for a parallel manual count. Former president Joseph Estrada, Sen. Jamby Madrigal, evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva, Olongapo councilor JC de los Reyes, and environmentalist Nick Perlas signed the appeal.

The letter was also signed by business groups led by Ramon del Rosario, chairman of the Makati Business Club and Gregorio Navarro, president of Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines; and church groups led by Bishops Oscar Cruz and Bishops Deogracias Iñiguez.

Administration party standard bearer Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro and Nacionalista Party (NP) presidential bet Sen. Manny Villar did not sign the letter. "I think that is impossible," Villar said during the birthday bash of religious leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

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