Comelec committed to hold credible May 2016 polls

MANILA, Sept. 30 (PNA) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) assured that it is committed to hold a credible May 2016 national and local elections.

“Ang aming mantra ay credible elections. Sinasabi namin na bumoto ng tama, at bumilang ng tama. Ang tungkulin ng bawat botante ay bumoto ng tama, ang responsibilad ng Comelec ay bumilang ng tama,” said Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista.

The statement was issued in connection with the testimony of Vice President Jejomar Binay fearing that there would be cheating operations in the forthcoming polls.

The Vice President admitted that his biggest worry in next year’s elections is the possibility of electoral fraud involving the poll body’s vote counting machines.

Likewise, Binay is worried over the possible use of government funds to help boost the campaign of administration-backed candidates.

At the same time, he urged Comelec to strictly enforce its campaign finance rules so as to prevent candidates from overspending in their campaign activities.

Bautista noted that they cannot stop “premature campaigning” activities of candidates.

“There is no offense such as premature campaigning kasi it can only happen during the campaign period. So, by and large, from now until February 8, 2016, the Comelec is powerless to regulate campaign expenditures,” he added.

The campaign period for candidates for president, vice president, senators, and party-list groups will starts on February 9 until May 7.

For local candidates such as district representatives, regional, provincial, city, and municipal officials their campaign period will be from March 25 to May 7. (PNA)