Own up to ‘worst automated elections’ ever, poll body urged

Technical glitch in one vote counting machine at barangay Tunasan, Muntinlupa. (Photo by Ryan Reyes/Bulatlat)

“The Comelec had senselessly put the lives and safety of thousands of public school teachers in grave danger by sending them to battle with defective armaments.”

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – A nationwide group of teachers called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to own up to the sufferings that public school teachers had to endure as a result of what they referred to as the “worst automated elections” in the country.

“As many sectors question the conduct and results of the 2019 midterm polls, our teachers can only sympathize. Our citizens were deprived of clean and credible elections as the poll workers were put in jeopardy, shortchanged and neglected,” the Alliance of Concerned Teachers said in a statement.

In an earlier Bulatlat report, public school teachers belied the claims of the Comelec that the recently-concluded midterm election was “generally peaceful,” given the glitches they have encountered, including the delays brought by the Voter Registration and Verification Machine, inadequate election paraphernalia, and defective SD cards.

Election watchdog Kontra Daya noted that the machine errors were worse compared to the 2016 presidential elections, considering that this is the fourth time that an automated election was held in the country.

Read: Machine errors worse in today’s polls than in 2016, Kontra Daya reveals

Youth and students, and members of progressive groups have led protest actions, assailing that the recently-concluded midterm elections was rigged. Groups have been questioning the seven-hour delay in reflection of election results in the transparency server.

Read: Groups protest against ‘rigged election’

“The Comelec had senselessly put the lives and safety of thousands of public school teachers in grave danger by sending them to battle with defective armaments,” the teachers’ group lamented.

Still no allowance

The hard work that public school teachers have put up has yet to be reciprocated by the Comelec, the group said, as teachers “were made to come to local Comelec offices” to follow up on their allowances and honoraria.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers said public school teachers who served as election officers were initially told that their respective allowances and honoraria shall be provided to them upon submission of elections returns.

Going to the local Comelec offices, ACT added, necessitates “additional effort and transportation expenses just to claim their rightful compensation.”

They also assailed the Comelec’s failure to act on their request for lawyers to be deployed in polling precincts on election day, as it could have spared teacher-poll workers from threats and harassments and allow them to perform their duty “without the undue fear and worry.”

Comelec must be held accountable

ACT said the Comelec has “itself to blame for the growing public non-acceptance of the conduct and results of the 2019 elections.”

The group added, “The people witnessed the worst forms of electoral fraud as in the use of government resources by the highest officials and most influential politicians tolerated by the Commission.” ()

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