Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed opposition to proposals to consider mail-in votes in the upcoming 2022 Presidential elections, saying it is the easiest voting system for cheating.
“I’m not in favor. It’s the easiest system of voting to cheat,” Sotto said in a text message to reporters when asked if the Philippines should follow the mail-in voting system that the US has allowed in their recent elections.
“Sino tatanggap? Nationwide? Saan ipadadala, Post Office? Kailan bibilangin? Sino bibilang? Paano kung may mag leak ng results whether true or fake? Any of those procedures can be cheated!” he expounded.
On Sunday, international and the US-based media networks reported that Democrat candidate Joe Biden has won the US presidential elections against outgoing President Donald Trump from the Republican party.
Trump has claimed that he has been cheated and questioned the integrity of mailed-in ballots.
In the Philippines, Senate Electoral Reform Chair Imee Marcos has filed Senate Bill 1870 or the Voting by Mail Act which seeks to provide a system for postal voting limited to senior citizens, pregnant women, persons with disabilities, and indigenous peoples.
“With no (COVID-19) vaccine as of date, the public health situation in the country has underscored the need for electoral reform. There is an urgent need to institute measures such that the most vulnerable sectors of our society will be protected from COVID-19 while ensuring that their right to suffrage remains unimpeded by the present circumstances,” Marcos explained in her bill.
She also cited the need to provide a system for the PWDs and IPs who are in remote areas during election day noting the “inaccessibility of polling places.”
The proposed measure will also create a Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group which will be composed of a chairman and four other members that will be appointed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The group will be in charge of handling the election paraphernalia, ballots, and logistics of the verified mailing packets to registered postal voters which are set 45 days prior to the scheduled national and local elections.
Those ballots received by Comelec 15 days before the election are the only votes that will be counted.
The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation last 6 October and is still pending at the committee level.
Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph