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PIA Press Release

Comelec conducts Borongan media forum

By Alice Nicart

Borongan, Eastern Samar (20 April) -- In an apparent desire to conduct a clean, honest and credible May 14 elections, Comelec Provincial Election Officer, Atty. Butz Beato appealed to the Sinirangan Press (SP) Club to help them monitor the electoral process.

The SP which is dominated by government information officers appeared at DYES-Radyo ng Bayan studio where Atty. Beato awaited shortly for them to sit in majority.

Moderated by this writer, the presscon raised several issues. Foremost was on the secrecy of the vote during the casting. It was so suggested that the Board of Election Inspector who is the teacher should not read allowed the number of the ballot underneath it. But the Election Officer remarked both ways: he said that the loud announcement of the ballot number is purposively done but he stressed there is no election office in the act.

He said further that the announcement bears two important purposes: it is generally favorable and unfavorable (for the voter). Simply put when the BEI announces the number of the ballot, watchers around are able to know the serial number of the ballots if indeed they belong to the same numbers assigned to that particular precinct, then it can be said that some illegal printings had been done beforehand and if at all there are deals between and amongst voters and candidates, it is true their preferred candidates can be known, Beato added. Thus his appeal for the watchers and citizen volunteers to be vigilant for the conduct of a credible election.

The issue on illegal posting of election materials was also raised. The local press are witnesses of some posters and streamers posted in non-designated areas in town. Beato again reasoned out they are but a few persons in Comelec to monitor and apprehend all these violations, precisely they deputized other agencies, PNP and DILG to help them out on this problem. He however noticed that the barangay officials remain inactive except for the officials of barangay Alang-Alang which is only a few meters away from his office. He stressed further that streamers crossing the major streets are definitely violative of Omnibus Election Code.

The forum closed with the Election Officer saying his appeal to the voting public to help them in the conduct of an honest, peaceful and credible elections. (PIA-Eastern Samar) [top]

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