Group keeps an eye on Puerto recall polls

254637_251306061659462_818830739_n3-326x235The Commission on Elections on Wednesday granted the request of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting to observe the upcoming recall polls for mayoralty post in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan on May 8, 2015.

Based on Resolution No. 15-0306, the commission  en banc also granted the PPCRV’s request to hold an education campaign among 120,765 registered voters of Puerto Princesa.

The resolution was made after PPCRV chairperson  Henrietta De Villa wrote a letter   to acting Comelec chairman Christian Robert Lim citing three requests  on the  recall election.

De Villa also asked for authority from Comelec  to allow  100 PPCRV volunteers to use instead their PPCRV Pollwatchers I.D.  during the 2013 elections.

Comelec  granted PPCRV  to use their poll watchers’ IDs from the May 2013 senatorial elections.

Moreover, the Comelec also granted the PPCRV the authority to receive the sixth copy of the election returns  after the counting of votes in precincts.

The Comelec called for the recall election in Puerto Princesa after it found  a sufficient number of valid signatures filed against city Mayor Lucilo Bayron.

This after 22,326 signatures of petitioners were found   valid out of the 31,418 signatures verified

The recall bid was initiated on March 17, 2014 by Al Roben Goh,  who said the people of Puerto Princesa have lost  trust and confidence  in Bayron who was also accused of graft practices, incompetence, dereliction of duty among other charges.

Goh was a former city information of Puerto Princesa.

The Comelec earlier granted the request of President Benigno Aquino III to declare the May 8, 2015 manual election as special non-working holiday to  allow the  voters of  Puerto Princesa  to take part in the  polls.

On April 8, the Comelec admitted that they were running out of 400 ballot boxes  for the upcoming recall election in Puerto Princesa.

To address the shortage in ballot boxes, the Comelec said it ordered the election officer (EO) of Puerto Princesa City to open ballot boxes used in the 2013 barangay polls or in previous manual elections.

“In order to augment the ballot box deficiency in Puerto Princesa, there is a need to open ballot boxes currently in possession of the City Treasurer containing election forms and documents used in the 2013 Barangay elections in order that said ballot boxes may be utilized for the recall elections,” said the resolution.

The Comelec said the  ballot boxes may be used in the recall elections as long as they are not involved in any election protest or official investigation.

And if the ballot boxes sourced from Puerto Princesa remains insufficient, the commission said it is also authorizing the tapping of the surplus ballot boxes in Palawan.

The Comelec noted that there is  a surplus of 357 yellow metal ballot boxes in the entire province of Palawan.

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