Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today said the Commission on Elections should immediately attend to preparations to comply with the Supreme Court decision requiring vote counting machines to print ballot receipts.
“The high court has spoken and the Comelec must comply with the high court’s decision. No matter how the Comelec feels about it, the body should immediately begin preparations in accordance with the ruling,” said Marcos.
Voting 14-0 the high court ruled in favor of the petition seeking to require the activation of Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) features in the vote counting machines to assure the credibility of the elections.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the decision will introduce complications in their preparation for the May 9 elections, among others because the Vote Counting Machines (VCM) have to be reconfigured to comply with the SC decision.
Likewise, Bautista expressed fears that the high court’s ruling would prolong the voting process at polling booths. In addition, he said they would have to conduct another bidding for the additional paper required for printing ballot receipts.
But Marcos said despite the challenges, the Comelec should bear in mind that it has the obligation to conduct clean, honest and credible elections. “All these practical considerations, I believe, pale in comparison with the imperative to have honest and credible elections. With ballot receipts our voters would have some degree of confidence that the voting machines indeed counted their votes properly,” said Marcos.
Marcos said that given the limited time available before the May 9 elections the Comelec should immediately work to reconfigure the VCMs, obtain the necessary supplies and address other logistical problems to comply with the SC ruling.
With barely two months remaining before the May 9 elections, Marcos said the Comelec should waste no time in complying with the SC ruling.
“Instead of complaining about the problems, the Comelec should look at possible solutions,” Marcos said.