Comelec ordered to explain result of 2013 senatorial polls

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Monday, May 5, 2014

THE Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to comment on the petition seeking to nullify the proclamation of 12 winning senatorial candidates in the 2013 midterm elections due to alleged inaccuracies in the canvassing of results.

In a resolution dated April 22, the SC said the poll body has 10 days to submit its opposition to the petition filed by defeated senatorial bets Rizalito David, Baldomero Falcone, Ricardo Penson and Hans Christian Señeres.

According to the petition filed last March, the Comelec allegedly proclaimed winners even without a finding on the total number of votes cast and the number of votes still to be canvassed.

The petitioners also called out the Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), for not authenticating the electronically transmitted election results, which is a requirement under Section 30 of Republic Act 8346.

They pointed out that the Comelec ignored the findings and recommendations of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) which observed vote padding and shaving in a number of precincts.

"It appears from the findings of the TEC that there was automated 'dagdag-bawas', resulting in the proclamation of 'accidental' senators, when it concluded that lines caused 'additional votes for candidates even if there were no votes for the candidate' and 'loss of votes for candidates who received votes which were not counted because the line caused an over vote'," the petition read.

Nine out of 12 Senate seats up for grabs went to allies of President Benigno Aquino III while opposition candidates backed by Vice President Jejomar Binay took the rest. The result sealed Aquino’s control of both chambers of Congress.

Aquino already had a solid majority in the House of Representatives prior to the midterm polls. (Sunnex)

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