Bishops: No closure without poll glitches probe

AT least three Catholic bishops have joined the growing demand for an independent investigation of the alleged irregularities in the recent midterm elections.

San Carlos Bishop Gerardo, Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias and Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila said that until an impartial probe is made, “there will be no closure on the questions of integrity and credibility” of the elections.

“No amount of name-calling and threats from the part of those silencing protests can repress the call for transparency,” they said in a joint statement.

The prelates said the Commission on Elections has yet to respond without satisfactorily to the issues of transmission delays and technical glitches that marred the polls.

They particularly want the Comelec to explain the high number of vote counting machines with glitches and secure digital cards which malfunctioned during polls.

The bishops also questioned the seven-hour glitch in the poll body’s transparency server and the alleged existence of pre-shaded ballots and “erroneous” ballot receipts.

“These irregularities and possible logistical tamperings already cast doubt on the reliability of the election results. We question the suspicious behavior and sidesteps employed by the Comelec to avoid addressing the aforementioned issues and the data blackout in a comprehensive manner and in sufficient detail,” they said.

The Comelec proclaimed the newly elected senators and party-list groups on Wednesday despite calls to suspend the proclamation until the allegations of fraud are resolved.