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Politiko - Raps filed vs ex-Comelec chair Andy Bautista over alleged poll anomalies

News & Interviews
21 May 2019

By Politiko

Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista faces a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) concerning alleged anomalies which have taken place in this year’s polls.

The complaint was filed Tuesday (May 21) a group of election watchdogs led by Mata sa Balota.

Also included as respondents are Comelec Executive Director Jose Marundan Tolentino, Deputy Director Teopisto Elnas Sr., Spokesman James Jimenez, and vote counting machine (VCM) provider Smartmatic.

“This complaint prays for immediate preventive suspension of the respondents who are under Ombudsman jurisdiction for serious dishonesty and/or gross neglect of duty under Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RRACCS) Section 46-A subsections 1 & 2 leading to Ombudsman investigations preparatory to Impeachment,” read the complaint.

Though the current Comelec commissioners cannot be investigated by the OMB, the complainants reminded that under existing laws “the Ombudsman may investigate but not prosecute the Comelec Chairman and six Commissioners.”

The complainants alleged the Comelec has been sanitizing the occurrence of anomalies in this year’s elections.

“At any rate, the average VCM flops in 2019 is worse by 220% in comparison with the 2016 statistics,” they lamented.

They also questioned “the nullification of more than a million (1,170,331) senatorial votes due to the overvote syndrome which is an inherent defect of the Smartmatic technology.”

“Nowhere in Philippine law can we find any justification for nullifying the entire senatorial lineup just because of a single ‘overvote’ in a Smartmatic system,” the complainants said.

Inspite of the irregularities, the complainants claimed Comelec has refused to lift the veil of secrecy and open its audit logs.

Meanwhile, the complainants urged the OMB to create a special task force to handle all of the complaints which will be filed against the Comelec and Smartmatic.

“Colossal Comelec+Smartmatic electoral atrocities are too enormous to fit into a single complaint by a few complainants. We propose to the Honorable Office of the Ombudsman the creation of a Task Force that shall consolidate all complaints against the Comelec+Smartmatic “riding in tandem” to save Comelec as an institution and stop the recidivistic multiple rapes of Philippine democracy by a foreign entity,” the complainants said.