Bishops air concern over poll automation

Fallback position urged

MANILA, Philippines—The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Sunday night voiced concern over preparations for the first nationwide computerized balloting just hours after the elections commission dismissed “apocalyptic predictions” of a failure of elections.

“Many serious questions about the reliability and integrity of the equipment and the personnel involved have not been satisfactorily answered,” said a pastoral statement issued by Bishop Nereo Odchimar, the CBCP president, during the prelates’ annual general assembly at the weekend. He said an alternative system should be put in place.

Commission on Elections Chair Jose Melo slammed various “contingency” measures proposed or discussed in Congress to address a potential power vacuum if the automated polling in May failed.

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