May 13, 2103
Field reports reaching the Kontra Daya monitoring center cited widespread cases of malfunctioning PCOS machines and delays in various polling places around the country. The group said that the PCOS malfunctions reported today were “widespread” and had a major effect on the conduct of the elctions. Kontra Daya also noted the case of switched ballots that affected polling precincts in Baguio and Compostella Valley. Special elections will have to be held for these areas.
“Taxpayers paid P1.8 billion for these PCOS machines. The fact that we are seeing numerous cases of PCOS failures, malfunctions and delays only underscores the long-held observation that we were duped by Smartmatic. Comelec allowed the electorate to be shortchanged. This should be the last time we use these machines,” said Dr. Gani Tapang, a co-convenor of Kontra Daya .
At precinct 1279 in Brgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City, the BEI was forced to just collect shaded ballots after the PCOS machine malfunctioned. The delay caused by the PCOS problem resulted in long queues, crowding the polling place and forcing some voters to just go home. (See photos below taken by a Kontra Daya volunteer)
At clustered precinct 0584 in Brgy. Real, Calamba City, Laguna, the PCOS machine short-circuited, according to a report reaching Kontra Daya. As a remedy, the BEI asked voters to just shade their ballots, which poll officials said will be fed later to the PCOS as soon as the machine is fixed.
At Bagong Nayon 2 Elementary School in Brgy. San Isidro, Antipolo, Rizal, voting has not started as of 7:46 am because the PCOS machine was not functioning. Several voters reportedly already went home due to the delay.
At the Central Elementary School in Barangay San Dioniso, Paranaque, the PCOS machine was reportedly rejecting the ballots causing long lines and forcing some to leave without voting.
Kontra Daya monitored the switching of ballots intended for precincts in Benguet and Compostela Valley. The incident affected 858 voters from Clustered Precint 22 at Brgy. Gabi Elementary School, Compostela, Compostela Valley and an undetermined number of voters in Benguet’s Clustered Precinct 122 at Rizal Elementary School in Baguio City. Voting has been temporarily suspended in both precints. Special elections will be held according to the Comelec.
In Zamboanga del Sur, the COMELEC’s official ballots have yet to reach precincts in Dumingag municipality even as the elections are now in full swing. According to field reports reaching election watchdog Kontra Daya, official ballots have yet to reach the voting precincts in Barangay San Pablo, Barangap Pedro, Barangay Guitran and Barangay Maralag in Dumingag municipality as of late last night.
Due to late arrival of paraphernalia, the start of voting in clustered precincts number 0536 and 0537 of Hulo Elementary School in Mandaluyong City was delayed and started at around 7:45 am.
Kontra Daya said that the cases of PCOS problems affirm the concerns repeatedly raised by various poll watchdogs which the Comelec simply dismissed. The delays in voting due to malfunctioning PCOS machines as well as the delays in delivering election materials could also disenfranchise many voters who have already left the polling centers, the group added.
Picture from Davao Today of switched ballot from Benguet reaching Compostella Valley.