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Eleksyon 2013

Bacoor councilor bets ask Comelec to correct errors in ballot templates

March 20, 2013 2:42pm

Twelve candidates for councilor in Bacoor city in Cavite have asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to correct the erroneous ballot templates for the city's two districts.

In a petition, the 12, through their lawyer Romulo Macalintal, said they checked the Comelec website on March 14 and saw that the ballots for Bacoor district 1 contained the names of the candidates for district 2 and vice versa.

“Given this dilemma, petitioners pray for this Honorable Commission’s immediate correction of said error, as the same creates undeniable confusion on the part of the voters, which necessarily results to the curtailment of the true will of the electorate,” they said.

Sought for comment, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said they have already corrected the error on the ballot's template even before the petition was filed.

“Nakikita din naman namin 'yung website, so nako-correct din naman. Nag-report na, na-correct na one week, two weeks ago. Nagka-problema east at west ng Bacoor kaya nagkagulo pero ayos na 'yun,” he told reporters.

He added he already ordered the updating of the website to reflect the corrected ballot template. “Pinapapalitan ko na 'yung website para makita 'yung tama.”

Brillantes assured the public that the more than 41 million ballots that have been printed as of posting time contain the correct list of candidates and other details.

Those who filed the petition were Mike Bautista, Rowena Bautista-Mendiola, Venus de Castro, Reynaldo Fabian, Edwin Gawaran and Boy Solis, who are running for the position of member of Sangguniang Panglunsod for district 1; and Bayani de Leon, Boy de Leon, King Gutierez, Robert Javier, Gudeng Nolasco and Rey Palabrica, who are running in district 2.

In a separate interview with reporters, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the correction was made even before the ballots for Bacoor City were printed. He said the templates posted on the website were “early versions.”

“Those were very early versions. The thing is as we go on with the printing, if there are corrections being made, those might not be actually reflected on the website. Guide lang naman kasi 'yung nasa website, di naman 'yun yung actual ballot,” he said.

He also said that the 41 million printed ballots are all clear from error, as the figure does not include those that were pulled out.

“In a print run, kapag may isang lot or dalawang sheet na mali, pinu-pullout 'yun, 'di na kasama sa bilang. Pag sinabi  na 41 million, 'yun ang na-clear na,” said Jimenez.

He said the Comelec is continuously reviewing the ballots to ensure that it contains the correct details.

“We reviewed the entire country nang malamang may problemang ganun. So we've been reviewing the entire counry and the corrections have been made for the entire country. It's not as widespread as some people might say,” he said.

“We’re doing the corrections systems-wide,” Jimenez added.

He expects the printing of the 52 million ballots for the May 13 polls to be finished in 10 to 12 days, or way ahead of the April 25 deadline.  

Meanwhile, National Printing Office deputy director Raul Nagrampa said they have already printed 42.6 million ballots and expects to complete the printing by April 2.

“On the 44th day of production, 42.6 million of the total ballot requirement has been printed already,” Nagrampa said in a text message to reporters, adding 39.2 million of the ballots have already been forwarded to the Comelec. Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News
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