‘Atienza’s basis for his protest against Lim is the reported results of the Random Manual Audit (RMA), conducted by the Commission on Elections through RMA chair Henrietta de Villa.’
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 8804 dated March 22, 2010 (In re: Comelec rules of procedure on disputes in an automated election system in connection with the may 10, 2010 elections) reads as follows:
“Section 3. Compensation of the members of the Recount Committee. – The Commission shall fix the compensation of the members of the Committee including the fees for supplies and materials at One Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (1,500) per clustered precinct. . .”
What Lito Atienza cannot understand is why, despite the very clear wording of the pertinent Comelec resolution, he was told to pay P9,979,500.00 for the 6,6653 established precincts even when there are only 1,441 clustered precincts and thus, according to the rules as stated by the pertinent Comelec resolution, he should be paying only P2,161,500.00 (1,441 clustered precincts x P1,500).
At any rate, because he wants to know the real results of the election for mayor in Manila, he was wiling to put up (under protest) the almost P10 million that the Comelec required before they would start the manual recount of the votes from 1,441 clustered precincts.
(Under election regulations, a candidate for mayor in Manila is allowed to spend only P3 per voter. It seems very strange then that what the Comelec asks the candidate to spend for a recount is much more than what he was allowed to spend for his candidacy. What Atienza was told to pay amounts to P14.42 per voter for the 692,183 who voted for mayor in the 2010 election.)
What does this buy? Ten chairmen for the ten committees that will do the actual counting, several recorders, typists and ballot box custodians in each committee. These are Comelc personnel who will be making much, much more than what they usually make. Chairmen will take home P345,956 monthly; the rest (recorders, typists and custodians) P159,672 monthly for the duration of the manual count!
Former Manila City Mayor Lito Atienza’s basis for his protest against Mayor Alfredo Lim is the reported results of the Random Manual Audit (RMA), conducted by the Commission on Elections through RMA chair Henrietta de Villa.
According to Atienza, the reports showed that the RMA noted “large variances for the Manila mayoral race that were allegedly due to voting-machine error” and specifically pointed to Manila mayoral race that “showed problems in the counting.”
The RMA validation team “could not identify the reason for the large variances, even after the retrieval and opening of the ballot boxes,” according to Atienza.
Atienza earlier also asked the Comelec to expedite the release of the order for the immediate retrieval of the ballot boxes containing the ballots of his protested precincts in order to start the revision and recount of the ballots.
Atienza complained: “The preliminary conference was conducted by the Comelec’s First Division on June 28 where the parties submitted their respective positions on how to expedite the resolution of this protest. And during the said conference, the Comelec assured us that the appropriate order to collect the ballot boxes and create revision committees will be issued accordingly. However, after more than one month of waiting, the Comelec has not yet issued the said order to my damage and prejudice since it is now causing undue delay in the resolution of my protest.
“My lawyers and supporters have also complained about the presence of armed men who terrorized and threatened our watchers guarding the ballot boxes, which are presently deposited at the Museong Pambata. I am afraid that the integrity of these ballot boxes might be endangered or compromised because our watchers have observed that some unauthorized people were given access to the Museong Pambata without giving the same privilege to our watchers.”
The recount is expected to take at least two months. Whether or not Atienza can overturn Lim’s margin of 214,816 votes after he garnered 181,094 votes against Lim’s 395,910, the protest will validate either the stated fears of losing politicians that the results of the first computerized elections were compromised or it will prove that our first computerized polls was a triumphant success.
In the case of Atienza, he is finding support from friends and associates who have contributed to the close to P10 million that Atienza paid Comelec to get to the truth of what really happened on May 10, 2010 in the City of Manila.