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Comelec eyes change in values of voters, candidates

The Commission on Elections in Western Visayas (Comelec 6) has noted the aspects they must improve on in the next polls, but above all, the top official of the regional Comelec hopes for changes in the values of both the voters and the candidates.

“What we need to change is the mindset of the public and the values of the voters and the candidates,” said lawyer Jose Nick Mendros, Comelec 6 Regional Director.

Mendros said some candidates had asked the Comelec, Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to create a task force against vote buying and another task force to fight election-related violence.

He said there should be a “shift in burden” as the act of vote buying is done on the part of the candidates.

“We don’t have to create the task force if they (candidates) do not do vote buying. The same with the voters that they should know that their right to vote is not for sale,” he said.

Also, for a request to establish a task force against election-related violence, Mendros said voters are supposed to “make the candidates accountable”.

“Why would you vote for someone who commits violence?” he said, addressing the voters.

Mendros also hopes that voters had extra patience to line up at the voting precincts.

Based on his observations, Mendros said voters in the United States bring with them their own seats and are patient in lining up to wait for their turn to vote.

“Meanwhile, the Filipinos, they run after the others to fall in line and if they feel inconvenience, they will go home and not vote anymore. If you want to exercise your rights, you should be patient,” Mendros said.

On the part of the Comelec, Mendros saw the need to improve the system of the ballot deliveries, especially in the shipping and packaging.

On the problems of Vote Counting Machines (VCMs, which malfunctioned and defective SD cards, Mendros said the Comelec has addressed such with contingency machines and the Regional Technical Hub.

He said that the PNP and AFP have been successful in doing their part in securing the mid-term elections.(By Gail Momblan)

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