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Poll watchdog to file impeachment raps vs Comelec officials

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PHILSTAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

POLL WATCHDOG Mata Sa Balota will seek impeachment proceedings in Congress against the Commission On Elections (Comelec) heads this coming July, citing alleged election fraud. Mata sa Balota Spokesperson Mike Aragon said the group, along with its partner poll transparency groups, will be filing for the impeachment of Comelec Commissioners Sheriff A. Abas, Al A. Parreño, Luie Tito F. Guia, Ma. Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon, Socorro B. Inting, Marlon S. Casquejo and Antonio T. Kho Jr. “Mata sa Balota and our multi sector partners nationwide will file an impeachment case this July in the 18th Congress versus the current Comelec commissioners,” he said in a statement on Saturday. Last month, Mata sa Balota filed a complaint before the Ombudsman against the Comelec and its provider for the Automated Election System (AES), Smartmatic, for alleged fraud during the May 13 polls. In the complaint, other watchdog groups AES Watch and Citizens’ Crime Watch (CCW) were also part of the petitioners. Mata sa Balota cited that glitches in the 2019 midterm elections were enough to question the integrity of the AES. Comelec has previously explained that the defective SD Cards came from a different supplier that apparently provided low-quality products, while the defective vote counting machines (VCMs) were due to being reused since the 2016 elections.

NEW SYSTEM
Meanwhile, Mata sa Balota is also calling for the abolishment of the current Comelec to make way for a better system through an amendment in the Constitution. “(W)e are now going around the nation to call upon the Filipino people to an immediate and urgent action to start a real Peoples Initiative (P.I.) to amend the 1987 constitution to abolish the current Comelec and replace it with a newer version that is completely answerable to our people,” Mr. Aragon said. — Gillian M. Cortez