Presidential Communications Operations Office

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PIA Press Release

Palace: Give Comelec a chance

Manila (6 May) -- Malacaņang is confident that Monday's (May 10) election will push through, adding it would come out as an honest, peaceful, and fair political exercise.

Several presidential spokespersons said Malacaņang harbors no doubt whatsoever on the capability of the Commission on Election to settle the technical problems that surfaced during the test-runs of the automated vote counting machines.

"Let's give COMELEC a chance. They say they can do it so let's respect them," said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar during a Malacaņang press briefing wherein he called on the people to ignore "political noise" like one linking Malacaņang to a possible postponement of Monday's exercise.

Secretary Ricardo Saludo, principal Palace spokesman, added in a brief statement: "Those dragging Malacaņang into the problems with the vote-counting machines should remember that the Comelec is the Constitutional body wherein Malacaņang cannot interfere and does not interfere in decisions and operations. Those critics should look at their books and study the Constitution before casting their blame on the Palace. We have been consistent in our support and advocacy for fair, free, orderly and credible elections."

Another Palace spokesman, Press Undersecretary Rogelio Peyuan, also said in a TV interview that the Comelec and Smartmatic, the supplier of the automated election technology, have adequate time before Monday to resolve the glitches experienced in the vote testing exercises.

Meanwhile, Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Raul Victorino took lightly the suggestion of election lawyer Romulo Makalintal of a possible postponement of election, saying that Macalintal was just advancing a personal opinion and not that of Malacaņang or its officials.

He stressed that all matters and concerns regarding postponement of election "must be addressed to the COMELEC, which is the independent and constitutional body mandated to supervise and control all elections, national or local."

"Everything must be addressed by the COMELEC. Let's respect its integrity and independence," said Victorino, a former Sandiganbayan justice.

He said linking Malacaņang to a postponement of election is "purely rhetorical, "as he stressed the President has not even thought of it. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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