FORMER Commission on Elections Commissisoner Gregorio Larrazabal on Wednesday warned of a possible hijacking of the election results next week following the new transmission procedure made by the poll body.
He said Comelec officials faced a number of loose ends that needed to be addressed immediately five days before the elections.
“Our concern is that when you look at the election management, it is not running a business or running some small business, you are talking about Philippine democracy,” Larrazabal said.
“When you draft this, you have to make sure that everything is ironed out or clear-cut.”
Larrazabal was referring to the amended resolution filed only on April 26 by the Comelec on the General Instruction for the Board of Canvassers on the consolidation or canvass and transmission of votes.
Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10103, the city or municipal board canvassers may proclaim the winning candidate but should not proceed to transmit the results until the results from all the main SD cards had been physically transported by the board of election inspectors from the clustered precinct to the municipal board of canvassers.
“You cannot transmit the result until all the main SD cards are imported,” Larrazabal said.
He said the national board of canvassers at the PICC would be affected since it could not canvass the vote without the certificate of canvass and statement of votes.
“Everybody can know the result but legally speaking, there is no result yet because there is no formal certificate of canvass of votes for a particular province,” Larrazabal said.
The CoC of votes is just a summary of all the votes per candidate while the Statement of Votes is the breakdown of the votes per precinct, municipality and province.
Larrazabal said such rules would mean that the provincial board of canvassers would not receive any consolidated results from the BOC.
The result, he said, would mean that the PBOC or even the NBOC would not be able to complete it’s canvassing and would not be able to proclaim the winners on the provincial level including all position like the president, vice president, senators, congressmen, governors, mayors and vice mayors.
“The requirement may result in the hijacking of the canvassing of votes and the proclamation of winners for national positions,” Larrazabal feared.
“That contradiction may lead to the hijacking of the proceedings [election process],” Larrazabal stressed.
He also feared it would lead to “vote trending”. “Another person is running against me, I know I’m winning, that person does not want me to be proclaimed as governor, so what he will stop the transport of the SD card of one particular large city of municipality that could affect the votes for the province, thereby causing the effect I will not be able to proclaim,” he said.