/ 10 May 2022

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers criticized the Commission on Elections as reports of vote counting machine failures flooded the ACT Teachers Election Hotline and other election monitoring platforms.

Kontra Daya network reported that 2,000 VCMs malfunctioned in the first six hours of voting. Aside from machine failures and errors, numerous reports of corrupted SD cards have also reached ACT Teachers Hotline.

ACT said VCM failures forced members of the electoral board to leave voters with difficult options which is to wait until the machine is fixed or sign a waiver allowing the electoral board to feed their ballots into the machine once fixed or come back and vote later in the day when the machine has been fixed.

“Hindi kagustuhan ng ating mga guro na mawalan ng karapatan ang mga botante na makita nilang nabasa nang tama ang kanilang mga boto, pero dahil sa mga palpak na makina, walang mapagpilian ang ating mga guro at botante. Hindi masisi ng mga guro ang mga botanteng nagdududa sa ganitong sistema habang nasasaktan sila na nalalagay sa alanganin ang kanilang kredibilidad,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, explained.

“Comelec and F2 Logistics, which is connected to Duterte’s campaign contributor Dennis Uy, have to explain and account for these massive machine failures. How can these machines pass the final testing and sealing but bog down in the first hours of voting? Also, Comelec’s slow response to trouble shoot the machine problems is delaying the conduct of the elections,” Basilio said.

He lamented that teachers carry the brunt of the problem as they had to deal with the complaints of exasperated voters while they seek remedies to the problem.

“The Comelec has put our teachers in a very difficult situation. On top of all the tiring work and heightened risks in performing the election duties, they still have to put up with the doubts created by the faulty machines,” Basilio said.

He demanded that those in authority be held accountable for the massive machine failures experienced nationwide.

“This is the fifth automated national elections in the country and still Comelec has not resolved the problem of massive machine failures that plague each election. Talagang napakapalpak ba nila o sinasadya na ito? We reject this ineptitude that wittingly or unwittingly jeopardizes the right to suffrage of our citizens and puts the credibility and security of our teachers on the line,” Basilio said.