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PIA Press Release

PCOS machines readied for special SP elections in Basilan

By Rene V. Carbayas

Isabela City, Basilan (10 November) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Basilan conducted today (Nov 10) the testing and sealing of PCOS machines for the forthcoming November 13 special Sangguniang Panlalawigan elections for Districts 1 and 2 in Basilan.

Maluso Election Supervisor Concordia Laforteza, who is helping supervise the testing, said that contrary to early reports, "this is not a special election for barangay and SK elections, but a special election of the Provincial Board members of May 10 national and local elections."

"There was no failure of elections of May 10," she clarified, saying that there was a mistake, a mix-up of the printing of official ballots in central office where candidates' names are printed in the other districts, particularly that of District 2.

Laforteza said that although there are complaints from some candidates, the results for SP were nullified and Comelec called for a general election for SP in the entire province of Basilan.

She, however, opted not to comment when asked why the District 1 was still included in the special election.

Basilan Comelec, however, declared that they are prepared for this special election with the help and support of the military and the police. Thus, the testing and sealing of the PCOS machines were conducted today at the Isabela City gymnasium.

Except for Lamitan and Maluso municipalities (testing will be done in their respective municipalities), all the other municipalities and city Board of Election Tellers (BET) came to check on their respective machines.

Sample ballots were used to test the machines, and the teachers recorded the statistics and other serial numbers to complete the test before resetting the machine to zero and seal it.

Representative of Argos Forwarder, the Smartmatic contractor for the delivery of the PCOS machines and the provision of technical assistance were also present.

Classes of the concerned teachers serving the elections are again disrupted, observers noted.

"This is public service," one teacher commented, saying that they serve with joy and that one cannot complain.

Meanwhile, a teacher in Lantawan municipality also reminded the Comelec of their payment serving as Barangay Board of Canvassers in the last barangay and SK elections.

Laforteza also disclosed that the Nov 13 election will be from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and that registered voters will have to vote on the same clustered precincts they had during the May 10 national and local elections. (PIA9-BST) [top]

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