Four days after the start of the overseas absentee voting, overseas Filipinos from different parts of the world continued to report anomalies and glitches in the OAV process.
According to Migrante Partylist Chairperson and 1st Nominee Connie Bragas-Regalado, they have received reports that ballots cast were being rejected by PCOS machines in Hong Kong because of faulty ink. “Those are automatically spoiled ballots. What has the Comelec done to correct this?”
Earlier, OFWs from Hong Kong also expressed dismay when they found out that the ink used by the Commission on Elections was not indelible ink and that the PCOS machine did not have locks.
In Italy, OFWs have not yet received their ballot packets yet. “We have just received reports from Migrante chapters in Milan and Rome that members of the Filipino communities there are still awaiting the arrival of their ballot packets via post. They are in the process of seeking a dialogue with the PH Embassy there,” said Bragas-Regalado.
In Australia, OFWs are complaining that most of the 1,985 registered OAVs will have a hard time voting because the only two polling places are in Canberra and Sydney, at least 8-10 hours away from Melbourne and Perth where a big number of Filipino are located.
“The Comelec has some explaining to do. There has been no day since the OAV started that OFWs abroad have not conveyed their complaints and expressed dismay with the OAV in their respective areas and yet we hear not a word of explanation from the Comelec.”
“The Comelec’s silence sends the message that it is merely dismissing the complaints and do not plan to do anything about them,” Bragas-Regalado said.
Migrante Partylist will be holding a picket at the Comelec next week to protest anomalies in the OAV. Migrante chapters abroad are also planning protest actions at their respective PH posts.
OAV Bantay-Boto Hotline launched
Migrante International, for its part, today launched its OAV Bantay-Boto Hotline aimed at monitoring and gathering information and complaints from overseas absentee voters during the whole duration of the OAV. Complaints, feedback and information may be sent to mobile number (+63) 932-7043274. ###