The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is considering the filing of a separate criminal case against a woman who claimed she could manipulate the results of the automated elections system (AES) in the 2019 midterm polls.
In a news statement, Comelec Spokesman James B. Jimenez also lauded the arrest by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of self-confessed poll cheater Nicole Mercado Namuag on Tuesday.
The NBI said Namuag could be held liable for estafa, usurpation of authority and falsification of public documents for claiming she could ensure a win for candidates in exchange for P20 million.
“We are glad that criminals like these are being exposed and are being apprehended, and we are not ruling out the possibility of, in the proper cases, pursuing such legal remedies as are available to the Comelec,” Jimenez said.
He said people like Namuag should be held accountable for casting doubt on the AES.
The poll official maintained that the AES—organized by the Comelec in 2010, 2013 and 2016—remains credible despite allegations from several groups there were irregularities in the conduct of the said electoral activities.
“So far, it has been very accurate in counting the votes, and there remains no evidence of anyone being able to use any component of the AES—from the precinct-based Vote Counting Machines to the Consolidated Canvassing System—to cheat in favor of any candidate or group of candidates,” Jimenez said.
He said the May 2019 polls will be no different as they continue to maintain the necessary safeguards.
“We would like to reassure all candidates that the AES is fair and secure, and will count the votes correctly. The will of the people shall prevail,”” Jimenez said.
The Comelec official also called on the public to report to authorities other unscrupulous individuals like Namuag, who are making “such illegal and useless” offers of vote manipulation.