Namfrel to PET: Allow groups to observe poll recount proceedings


MANILA — An election watchdog appealed to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to allow citizens’ arms accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the media to observe the ongoing recount proceedings.

In a statement Wednesday, National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) secretary general Eric Alvia also asked the tribunal to inform the public of the process and duration of the recount.

“We request the PET to inform the public of the complete procedure and duration of the recount and to allow the Comelec-accredited citizens’ arms and media to observe the process,” he said.

The Namfrel official noted that it is important to allow the presence of non-partisan groups to observe the proceedings, adding that being transparent may support the integrity of the recount process.

“It may be any non-partisan or independent group to include media to observe the process. Transparency may bolster the integrity of the recount process in the public’s eye,” Alvia added.

On Monday, the PET started the recount of the votes for the 2016 vice presidential race in connection with the protest case filed by Marcos.

Meanwhile, the camp of Robredo expressed concern after one of the revision committees denied her claim to four ballots containing votes in her favor that were found inside the envelope for unused ballots.

In a manifestation filed on Wednesday, Robredo’s legal counsels, Romulo Macalintal and Maria Bernadette Sardillo, informed the PET that a revision committee prohibited them from claiming the four ballots from the municipality of Baao, Camarines Sur because there was no space in the revision report provided by the PET.

“(By) the time the Honorable Tribunal is able to make any rulings on this issue, the revision, recount and re-appreciation of the ballots in the said clustered precinct would have been already terminated,” Macalintal said in a statement.

“These four ballots will now be treated as uncontested ballots to the prejudice of Robredo,” he added.

The lawyer said that the purpose of revision committees would be for naught if parties would not be allowed to register claims and objections before the head revisors of the tribunal.