Comelec all set for polls; int’l observers arrive
MANILA – All is in readiness for the May 9 national, senatorial, congressional and local elections despite several kinks like disenfranchising thousands of voters whose names were removed in master list of voters or were tagged as “deactivated” and the late arrival of ballots and voting machines in some overseas posts.
This as President Rodrigo Duterte assured anew an orderly conduct of the elections as he named Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia as head of his transition committee for the transfer of power to the next president at high noon on June 30.
The Philippine National Police, meanwhile, readied some 40,000 police officers and men for election duty while others are on alert in the so-called “hot spot” areas and those placed under Comelec control.
Comelec Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan assured the nation that it’s all systems go for the May 9 elections as he briefed international election observers, many of them coming from the United States, and urged every one to uphold the integrity of the elections where some 68 million Filipinos, including 1.7 million overseas Filipinos, are qualified to vote.
Despite the pandemic, the Comelec also expects more Filipinos will exercise their right to vote on May 9.
Chairman Pangarungan told the poll observers to follow the necessary guidelines imposed by the commission.
“You shall have unimpeded access to the electoral process subject only to such conditions necessary for the protection of our Comelec personnel and property, as well as the protection of privileged information,” Pangarungan assured.
“We ask that our monitors uphold the integrity of the elections through their compliance with our guidelines,” he added.
He also expressed confidence that the poll observers will maintain their “impartiality and objectivity” throughout the electoral process. (Claire Morales True)