Press Release
May 5, 2010

Statement of Sen. Benigno S. Aquino III on the calls
to postpone the May 10, 2010 elections

"Elections must push through on Monday, May 10, as mandated by law. Our people want a new leadership.

"The risk of elections not pushing through at all becomes much greater with a postponement. It is our sacred obligation to say "NO" to these proposals to postpone elections to a later date. Each postponement increases the possibility of yet another postponement, bringing us closer to a potentially disastrous crisis of a leadership vacuum on June 30.

"COMELEC has constantly assured us that they are ready for full automation; however, their efforts have so far only yielded disastrous results. This belies all their claims of being prepared. They have not come through with their promises to our people.

"Failure of this magnitude would have led to honorable resignations in other cultures. Were steps taken to prevent these problems, or were such steps purposely not undertaken to lead us into the dire situation we find ourselves in today?

"Again, we ask them: what is their continuity plan in case the 76,000 replacement memory cards still do not work? What vetting process will these replacement cards go through? If the original cards, which went through many months of examination, were still proven to be defective, how can we be assured that these replacements, which will only go through a few days of vetting, if any, will be any better? We fear there are no guarantees of improved results despite these replacements. While COMELEC says this is their way of addressing the situation, we fear that the situation may make a turn for the worse, rather than the better.

"Therefore, we demand that COMELEC begin preparations for a full manual count and present their contingency plan to the public as soon as possible. Under the law, this is allowed. We know that they have made initial preparations for a manual count. Thus, there should be no obstacle to prevent elections from taking place this Monday.

"What is important is the integrity of the process and its final outcome. If full manual counting is the practical solution then let us do it, no matter how long it takes to finish.

"Let us set aside partisan politics and work together to find ways to resolve this issue. This is COMELEC's last chance to regain its lost integrity. We are willing to do what we can to ensure the sanctity of our elections and our democracy."

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