Say so if full automation of 2010 polls

May 14, 2009 3:21 am 

would not be possible, Enrile tells Comelec

MANILA, May 13 –- Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said on Wednesday the Commission on Election has no authority to conduct partial automation of the 2010 national elections.

”Partial automation is not allowed. They are not authorized. The authority given to them is full automation. If they cannot do full automation, they must say so and prepare for a manual election,” Enrile said.

Enrile made his comment after there are no qualified bidders meet the Comelec’s requirements for the poll automation next year.

”I directed a warning to the members of the Comelec present to see to it and be certain that the automation will work. If they have any doubt, I call them to prepare for a manual election,” Enrile said.

Enrile urged the Comelec determine as soon as possible whether there are no qualified people to handle the computerization of the elections.

”They must make a proclamation to that effect to the public convincingly and prepare for a manual election. We cannot afford not to have any election,” Enrile said.

If the poll automation of the 2010 election failed, Enrile said the Comelec cannot use the P11 billion budget which Congress allotted for the election computerization.

”They can only use so much that is needed for a manual election. They cannot spend the amount,” Enrile said.

The veteran lawmaker brushed aside the ‘no election’ fear in 2010 .

”There will be chaos in this country if there’s no election in 2010, unless we amend the Constitution and we adopt another system of government or installing authority in this country,” he said.

”If we maintain the present the Constitution and we have no election in 2010, imagine a country without a President, without a Vice-President, without a Senate, without a Congress, without governors and mayors to run their local government. This is chaos. This is going to be anarchy,” Enrile warned.

Meanwhile, Sen. Loren Legarda supported a plan by the Comelec to hold a second poll automation bidding.

The senator said that the Comelec plan initiated by Chairman Jose Melo would be the right thing to do since the automation of the 2010 elections is mandated by Republic Act 9369 or the Poll Automation Law. (PNA) V3/jfm

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