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Albay polls peaceful, results credible despite glitches in VCMs, SD cards

DESPITE GLITCHES. Atty. Neil Canicula (Center) assures credibility of elections in Albay during interview with the Bicol and Albay media. SAA-PIA5/Albay

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has affirmed the conduct of credible and peaceful elections in Albay despite defects in vote counting machines (VCMs) and SD cards.

“Election in Albay has been generally peaceful. The PNP has not reported any untoward incident,” Comelec Albay election officer Atty. Neil Canicula said.

Credibility despite glitches

Canicula reported 116 re-configurated SD cards and a total of 38 technically defective VCMs, 15 of which are in Tabaco, 10 in Legazpi and 13 in Daraga.

“Delay is the only effect of defective VCMs and SD cards. There were no changes in vote,” Canicula said.

“The VCMs are reliable. The VCMs encountered technical problems but once restored, they performed with perfect outputs,” he added.

The election officer also denied allegations of tampering or cheating due to reported difference in ballot votes and voter’s receipt.

“Comelec has conducted automated election system since 2010. None of the election protests questioning the accuracy and validity of the PCOS and VCM proved that results were affected. In fact, we have measures like the final testing and sealing just to test the accuracy of the vote,” Canicula added.

To further check and verify the electronically transmitted result, COMELEC will be conducting Random Manual Audit (RAM) in selected clustered precincts in the province.

“RAM will not be done in the field but in a center in Metro Manila. For Albay, polling precincts in Sto.Domingo, Legazpi City and Ligao City have been chosen,” he said.

Canicula also noted the presence of teachers in the electoral boards to ensure the integrity of the election. “Let us not forget that most of our electoral boards are public school teachers from the Department of Education. I am 100% confident that they protected their integrity, profession and commitment to the Filipino people,” stressed Canicula.

Vote- Buying

The election officer said the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Albay has not reported official complaints and apprehensions on vote buying.

“There were no official result on vote buying complaints and apprehensions according to PNP provincial director PCOL Wilson Asueta,” Canicula said.

LONG LINE. Defective VCMs cause delay and long queues for voters. SAA-PIA5/Albay

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