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Comelec denies rushing ballot printing

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that they are just following their timeline particularly in scheduling the printing of the official ballots early next month.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez noted that the schedule to start the printing of the ballots on February 1 is in accordance with the poll body's preparation schedule for the May 9 elections.

“I don’t think we are printing the ballots as soon as possible. I think we are printing it at the proper time. We are not in a hurry. We are also not printing the ballots late. We are printing the ballots when they are supposed to be printed,” he explained.

He added, “Elections cannot proceed if the Comelec is not properly ready for it. And that is all that is behind this timing of printing of ballots... The bottom line for the Comelec is readiness for the elections.”

Jimenez is reacting to claims by Senate President Franklin Drilon that the Comelec is rushing the printing of the official ballots.

He also denied that the Comelec is partial to Senator Grace Poe, whose disqualification case is pending before the Supreme Court (SC), as her name is likely to be included in the ballots if there is no ruling yet by February 1.

“Whatever happens to the case of Senator Poe, we will treat those who will also go to the SC the same way. We will treat it exactly the same way. We will treat a certain candidate the same as other candidates,” Jimenez added.

At the same time, Drilon urged Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista not to rush the printing of the ballots and to postpone it until the High Court has decided with finality on Poe's disqualification cases. — APG, GMA News