Technical glitches delay proclamations in some Region 12 areas

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 12 May) – The proclamation of some winning candidates in parts of Region 12 are facing delays due to various technical problems that affected the canvassing and transmission of votes cast in Monday’s general elections.

Lawyer Francisco Pobe, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Region 12 director, said Thursday they were forced to suspend the canvassing in some areas in the region due to problems with the Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS) and unstable broadband signals.

As of Thursday morning, he said only the provinces of North Cotabato and South Cotabato have completed the canvassing and transmission of voting results to their central server in Manila, and officially proclaimed the winners.

“We’re currently working double time to resolve these issues and complete the canvassing and transmission processes,” he said in an interview over local television program Magandang Umaga South Central Mindanao.

In Sultan Kudarat, Pobe said the provincial board of canvassers (PBOC) suspended its canvassing on Tuesday due to problems with the CCS laptops assigned to the municipal BOCs of Columbio and President Quirino towns.

He said the laptops failed to initialize and transmit the voting results to the PBOC based at the provincial capitol in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat.

The official explained that they received a memorandum from the Comelec central office that disallowed the manual uploading of the results from the MBOC to the PBOC.

He said such procedure is only allowed for results from the precinct level to the MBOC based on the configuration of the systems.

Pobe said they sent the CCS laptops to the Comelec’s national technical support center to resolve the problem.

“The units already arrived at their stations at 1 a.m. today (Thursday) so we’re expecting the canvassing to proceed this morning. Hopefully, the PBOC can proclaim the winning provincial candidates this afternoon,” he said.

But in Sarangani, the official said the winning bets will have to wait until Sunday for their official proclamation.

He said the MBOC of Maitum town received an order from the Comelec central office to suspend its canvassing pending the conduct of the special election on Saturday, May 14, in one of its clustered precincts.

Comelec declared a failure of election in clustered precinct number 03 at the Malalag Central Elementary School in Maitum due to misrouted ballots.

Poll personnel discovered at the opening of the precinct last Monday that the delivered ballots were for a precinct in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque province.

The affected clustered precinct has a total of 667 voters from original precincts 004A, 004B, 005A and 005B.

Aside from this, Pobe said the canvassing of votes in Maitum was hampered after the assigned CCS laptop to the MBOC would not print the certificates of canvass and the certificates of proclamation.

As advised by the Comelec central office, he sent the unit to Smartmatic’s warehouse in Laguna for “re-calibration.”

“The canvassing will immediately proceed after the special election on Saturday. So by Sunday morning, we’re expecting that all necessary processes are already complete and the PBOC can make the proclamation,” he added.