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PIA Press Release

Eastern Samar all set for May 10 polls - Comelec

By Alice Nicart

Borongan City (6 May) -- Eastern Samar Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Provincial Supervisor, Attorney Butch Beato allayed fears of "No Election" amid the problem on defective flash cards.

"A car owner with a flat tire or radiator will not discard the whole vehicle, but instead buy a new tire or radiator to replace the defective ones", Atty. Beato simplified the matter in a media forum held yesterday at Radyo ng Bayan, DYES.

"We will hold the election as scheduled, since I for one haven't receive any information yet whatsoever regarding rescheduling, or anything for that matter", Beato added.

He clarified though that since the contracted forwarder has committed to bring in these election gadgets and other paraphernalia to the precinct level, COMELEC's responsibility commences once these have all been received by the board of election inspectors (BEIs), otherwise, it is still Smartmatic's and their contracted forwarders and handlers. Short to say that defective or not, these paraphernalia would not be accounted to them, until after receipt of the BEIs.

But Beato asked the public to trust in the automated polls, because this has long been the dream of the people if only to prevent fraud and other manipulations so to speak.

With the COMELEC, the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army likewise assured the public of an honest, orderly, peaceful elections.

PNP Police Provincial Director Felixberto assured that the COMELEC gun ban is still in place and security and assistant desks have been established at precinct levels.

Col. Fernando Hidalgo of the 14th Infantry Battalion also said that whatever security plans they have set for the May polls are now being executed by them.

Reverend Fathers Ray Romualdo and Michael Rebamontan, both representatives of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting(PPCRV)enumerated the several activities they engaged in, in preparation for the election (voters' education, trainors' training etc). They even cited their effort to look for and invite volunteers to their Council adding that the 1,500 plus volunteers who have checked-in might not be enough for the enormous task ahead.

Asked about poster and tarpaulin violations, Atty. Castor Gamalo of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) frankly replied that no courageous complainant have come forward even if several violations are glaring and apparent.

To cap it all, as gathered from the COMELEC, PNP, PPCRV, LENTE and the Army, Eastern Samar is all set for the first automated polls this coming Monday.

The forum was initiated by the Sinirangan Press Club. (PIA-Eastern Samar) [top]

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