February 24, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – Senatorial bet Richard “Dick” Gordon on Monday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to order the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to print ballot receipts during the May elections.
In a statement, Gordon said he filed the petition for mandamus for the SC to interfere and compel the Comelec to implement this coming polls the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) system under the amended Automated Elections Law, which he authored.
According to Gordon, who is running as an independent, the VVPAT system will allow people to receive receipts from vote-counting machines after they voted.
He noted that this will also enable voters to read a receipt of who they voted.
He said the VVPAT system is “a critical and indispensable security feature of the automated voting machine.”
Without receipts, he said the results from the vote-counting machines would be open to question.
Gordon noted that the Comelec has already ignored the law mandating to activate the said security features during the 2010 and 2013 elections.
As a constitutional body, he said the Comelec should strictly follow what the law says.
If they continue to ignore the law, the former Senator warned that Comelec officials could be impeached.
The poll body earlier said it will not implement the VVPAT system because the receipt may be used for vote-buying as it can be simply presented to political operators to obtain cash.
The agency also said it would extend the voting time by seven hours.
“Ang dahilan ng Comelec para hindi mag-issue ng receipt ay dahil magagamit raw ito sa vote buying. Pero hindi tayo gumagawa ng batas dahil sa takot natin sa mga lalabag dito,” Gordon wrote on his Facebook page.
“Gumagawa tayo ng batas para protektahan ang karapatan ng mga susunod dito. Para na rin nilang sinabi na huwag na lang tayo lumabas ng bahay kasi masasagasaan tayo ng driver na lasing,” he added.
Meanwhile, the high court yesterday ordered Comelec chief Andres Bautista to file a comment on Gordon’s petition within five days after receiving the notice.