Namfrel withdraws accreditation bid with Comelec

March 12, 2010 11:38 pm 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, March 12 – An official of the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) on Friday said it has withdrawn its application for accreditation at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to be its citizens' arm in the coming May polls.

Namfrel chairman Jose Cuisia Jr. said the group was re no longer pursuing to be accredited by the poll body.

"It is obvious that the Comelec is not interested in Namfrel's assistance," he said.

Since the country is holding its first automated polls, the group said it was no longer interested in conducting quick count but instead would focus in monitoring the poll body and the credibility of the results of the scheduled elections.

With this, Namfrel together with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Nassa, has formed Bantay ng Bayan (BnB), which is task to observe the "critical aspects of the election process."

The BnB reports will be given before and after the elections. On Election Day, May 10, it is set to issue two reports in the morning and in the evening.

The Namfrel pioneered the conduct of the parallel quick count of votes during electoral exercises in the country since 1986.

Earlier, the Comelec approved the application for accreditation of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting as its official citizens' arm in the automated polls.

The poll body has said that since the counting of the votes would be automated, winners in the elections would be known in two to three days.

In its first report released Friday, the BnB reported that the Comelec seemed to be behind its schedule of deadlines and deliverables, noting that it was lenient to the delays incurred by Smartmatic-TIM Corp. (PNA) RMA/FGP/utb


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