Comelec forms fact-finding panel to probe alleged illegal printing of ballots

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has created a fact-finding committee that would look into the alleged unauthorized printing of ballots by a private company.

The creation of the three-member panel was formalized in Comelec Resolution No. 9760, which was promulgated August 23, 2013 by the Comelec en banc.

“After due deliberation and considering the seriousness of the said accusations, the Commission resolved, as it hereby resolves, to create a three-member fact-finding committee to investigate the alleged unauthorized printing of election ballots by Holy Family Printing Corporation and to recommend the filing of appropriate charges, if warranted,” the poll body said in a three-page order.

The Comelec pointed out that the supposed printing of ballots might constitute violations of the some provisions of the Omnibus Election Code and Sec. 27 (a) of Republic Act 6646.

Information on the alleged illegal printing of ballots came from lawyer Melchor Magdamo, a former Comelec official.

At a press briefing in July, Magdamo said he learned about the printing from a group of employees from the poll body's "intelligence group" who were "disgruntled" over reports that the Comelec had used its P30-million intelligence fund to spy on groups critical of the May 13 elections.

The Comelec order directed the investigating team to immediately convene and summon the Holy Family Printing Corporation and Magdamo, who will be a witness in the investigation.

Tasked to head the panel was lawyer Esmeralda Ladra, head of the Comelec law department chief. She was also ordered to designate two other members of the committee.

The resolution was signed by Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes and Commissioners Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph, Christian Robert Lim, Maria Grace Cielo Padaca, Al Parenno and Luie Tito Guia. — KBK, GMA News

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