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Palace defends Comelec over 'glitches' in mock polls

Malacañang on Monday expressed hope that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will have enough time to resolve the “minor glitches” experienced during mock elections over the weekend. “We hope that by election time, these glitches will be resolved and there would be no glitches that would question the integrity of the elections,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said at a briefing. Election watchdog Kontra Daya has said that the glitches are proof that the Comelec is ill-prepared to handle automated elections in May. Lacierda refuted this, saying that according to Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., the glitches were minor. He said the public should trust the poll body when it said that it is prepared to handle the elections. “I think we should give them credence, and if they commit that they will ensure the integrity of the elections then we should give them full fit and credit in their statement,” he said. In an interview at the Comelec office in Manila, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez noted that a mock election is supposed to "expose the vulnerabilities of the system." "It is supposed to tell us where we can improve. It is supposed to tell us where we did right and also where we did wrong,” he said. He said among the issues that the Comelec would look into after the mock elections were the problem on transmission of results, toughness or resistance to damage of the ballot, voters’ education and procurement of peripherals. Lacierda, meanwhile, agreed with suggestions that the Comelec should hold mock elections in areas considered as “election hotspots,” “It’s good to have mock elections in areas where the Comelec consider it as a hotspot. But, again, it’s up to Comelec to decide to do so,” he said. — Patricia Denise Chiu/KBK, GMA News