MANILA – The Electoral Commission (Comelec) will begin this weekend to investigate the more than 900 vote counting machines (VCMs) that ran into trouble in the May 9 elections.
According to Commissioner George Garcia, the Comelec Steering Committee, chaired by Commissioner Marlon Casquejo, will meet with the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) and the Project Management Office (PMO) on Saturday to discuss the matter.
He said holding the meeting was in response to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s call for an investigation into why the VCMs weren’t working during the election.
“In light of the President’s call to investigate the defective VCMs during last Monday’s election, Commissioner Casquejo, the head of the steering committee, will meet tomorrow (May 14), the CAC and the PMO to get to the bottom of the matter problem,” Garcia said in a Viber message to members of the media on Friday.
Earlier, Duterte asked the Comelec to investigate hundreds of VCMs that weren’t working during the election so as not to cast doubt on the integrity of the election results.
Meanwhile, Comelec acting spokesman John Rex Laudiangco declined to comment further on the CEO’s call for the party list system to be scrapped.
According to the electoral body official, the decision to abolish the party list system is not the decision of the commission but of Congress.
“Let the Comelec work on the laws we have right now. We cannot comment on that. Why? Because these matters fall within the wisdom and jurisdiction of Congress. The job of the Comelec, or constitutional mandate, is to administer all electoral laws,” he told a press conference on Friday.
“As long as there is this law that provides for the party list system, we will abide by it,” the Comelec official added.
On Thursday, Duterte called on his possible successor to abolish the party list system.
He said it was used by the rich and powerful to advocate for their interests in Congress. Also, the President said it was being used by communist groups to infiltrate Congress.
On the other hand, election watchdog Kontra Daya said it would be better to change the law rather than scrap it.
“Kontra Daya’s position is to amend the 1995 party list system law to bring it more in line with the provision in the 1987 constitution. ‘ said the group. (PNA)