Philippine Catholic Bishops Conference President Calls for Explanation of Election Glitches

Archbishop Jose Palma Not Satisfied With Handling of Polls by Election Commission

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The head of the Catholic bishops’ leadership has called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to give a detailed account about the glitches encountered in the recent midterm elections.

Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the Comelec has the responsibility to clarify the concerns of various poll watchdogs.

“It’s their responsibility to give a good explanation to the many questions not only from ordinary people but by IT (information technology) experts,” Palma said.

“There’s a need to study the issues for us to determine if the election was really credible and reflected the will of the people,” he said.

The Cebu archbishop himself admitted that he was not satisfied with the way the Comelec handled the conduct of the May 13 polls.

In a statement, the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa) yesterday said that the “ineptitude” of the poll body had made the results of the elections “questionable.”

It stressed reports of voter disenfranchisement, malfunctioning PCOS, corrupted CF (compact flash) cards, transmission failures and non-compliance with election laws.

“The recent mid-term national election makes a mockery of our democracy,” the CBCP agency said.

The country’s more than 100 bishops are expected to discuss the recent elections when they meet for their plenary assembly in July.

“In principle, there are many valid points raised because a lot of people thought the elections were okay, but we all know that like in music it was out of tune, which puts into question so many things,” said Palma.

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