Watchdog slams poll exec

Subscribe Now May 12, 2013 at 08:32am

A POLL watchdog criticized an election district officer of Davao City for what it called "unethical" remarks against teachers serving as members of the board of election inspectors (BEIs).

In a statement, University of the Philippines Mindanao Professor Aya Ragragio, who also is the convener of Kontra Daya-SMR, said lawyer Aimee Perolino Ampoloquio's remarks were "unethical" and "scapegoating" - shifting the fault of Comelec's failure for another Automated Election System (AES) to the teachers who act as members of BEIs.

Ampoloquio made the comment when the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines suffered technical glitches during the machines' final testing and sealing (FTS) on May 6, 2013.

Ragragio said Ampoloquio should learn to accept criticisms and adopt prompt and needed actions to address the concerns arising from the inefficiency of the machines, the difficulty of the teachers and the lack of safeguards for the AES.

"Instead of assessing the validity of the criticisms pertaining to the FTS, calling the teachers stupid and forgetful simply because they were not confident in handling the PCOS machines and unable to fix the technical glitches, is callous and highly unethical. She is a public servant, and should not mock the teachers who have been at the forefront of every election, and bear the brunt of violence and fraud that has marked our electoral system," Ragragio said.

But, Ampoloquio earlier said DepEd-Davao should not make a big deal out of the statement she blurted out in a radio interview against the BEIs.

"The BEIs were announcing the PIN of the PCOS. I was worried that anyone could access the PCOS," Ampoloquio told Sun.Star Davao.

She said the BEIs already installed the backup memory cards, which are not part of their guidelines.
Ragragio said it is the Comelec's role to train the teachers to be confident in using the PCOS machines.

"The lack of confidence in handling the PCOS is just an indication of lack of knowledge in handling the machine. Some teacher-BEIs reported to Kontra Daya that their two-day training with the Comelec was very limited and not enough to equip them with the necessary skills to ensure that the country's second automated polls will be successful," Ragragio pointed out.


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