Comelec Cebu to send 33 ballot boxes to central office for random manual audit

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ABOUT 33 ballot boxes from different clustered precincts in Cebu Province, including the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, will soon be sent to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) central office in Metro Manila for the random manual audit.

The purpose of the random manual audit is to address the public’s doubts and determine whether the automated count of the vote counting machines is accurate based on the manual verification of the count, Acting Cebu Provincial Elections Supervisor Jerome Brillantes said on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

Brillantes said accounting firms are usually hired to help the Comelec in counting the ballots manually, citing the random manual audit as part of the standard operating procedure every election.

The elections supervisor said the 33 ballot boxes may be sent to Manila within this week as his office is still looking for ways on how to ship these boxes.

After the random manual audit, Brillantes said the ballot boxes will be brought back to Cebu, particularly to the local government units where these belong.

Of the 33 ballot boxes, five came from the City of Naga; four each from Pinamungajan, Tabogon, Liloan and Cebu City Second District; three from Cebu City First District; two each from Badian, Samboan, Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City; and one from Cordova.

Campaign materials

Meanwhile, Brillantes has urged the candidates and their supporters to remove their campaign posters and tarpaulins regardless of whether they won or lost in the May 9 elections.

Brillantes said on Wednesday, May 11 that the candidates and supporters would be responsible for cleaning up their mess after the polls.

“Comelec is not a garbage collector of our politicians. I hope they are responsible enough to collect their own mess,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

“It’s not actually the LGU (local government unit) [that will remove the posters]. The candidates are responsible as good citizens,” he said.

Brillantes said they removed campaign materials in places not designated as common poster areas during Oplan Baklas; however, after the operations, new posters were placed.

His counterpart in Cebu City, Acting South District Election Officer Marilou Paredes, echoed Brillantes’ call, saying the candidates must take the initiative to pull down their campaign materials.

Paredes said her office has not received any order from Comelec’s central office to conduct another Oplan Baklas or a massive cleanup drive after the election.

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