PET grants Comelec's request to re-use ballot boxes

December 14, 2012 11:03 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 14 — THE Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has granted the request of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to re-use the ballot boxes used in the poll protest of losing 2010 candidate Mar Roxas against Vice President Jejomar Binay in the May 2013 polls.

In a 15-page resolution, the PET allowed the Comelec to retrieve the 57,255 out of the 76,340 ballot boxes involved in the electoral protest.

“PET allows and authorizes the Comelec to immediately commence the retrieval process of the ballot boxes from the 76,340 areas/precincts that functioned during the May 10, 2010 elections, and the subsequent transfer of their contents to designated ballot boxes identified as the Committee Boxes,” said the resolution dated December 4.

Under the agreement, Comelec shall transfer the ballot contents of the to-be-retrieved boxes to the 19,085 ballot boxes, which shall be known as Committee Boxes.

Likewise, the PET agreed to adopt the guidelines proposed by the Commission on the retrieval of the ballot boxes and transfer of the ballots.

These include the creation of committees for each municipality, where the ballot boxes are to be retrieved; an inventory for each ballot box; presence of citizens’ arms during the transfer; wrapping and sealing of all contents of ballot boxes; Committee Boxes to be kept under custody of the city/municipal treasurers; and emptied ballot boxes to be collected by the Provincial Election Supervisor to be submitted to the Comelec.

The Comelec had requested the PET to allow them to re-use the ballot boxes in a bid to save money from purchasing new ballot boxes.

In July 2010, Roxas filed an election protest before the PET questioning the victory of his closest rival Binay in the May 2010 elections.

On the other hand, Sarmiento said they will be saving some P200 million since they only need to purchase the over 20,000 new ballot boxes along with the retrieval operation expenses for the old ballot boxes amounting to about P56 million.

He added that the money they will be saving can be used for the procurement of “equally important supplies and services” for the 2013 polls. (PNA)

CTB/FGP/UTB

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