Senatorial candidate Richard Gordon denounced the chairman of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for belittling the importance of the voter’s receipt as part of the mandated Verified Paper Audit Trail (VPAT).
Gordon who authored Republic Act No. 9369 known as the Automated Election System in an exclusive interview on DYRDAM yesterday afternoon, April 30, 2016 lambasted COMELEC Chairman Juan Andres Bautista “to follow the law and stop making excuses”.
Asked during an exclusive DYRD interview yesterday afternoon whether he was satisfied with the Comelec’s response to the Supreme Court (SC) decision on the issuance of voter’s receipt Gordon retorted “It is very clear that the law requires a voter’s receipt to assure the electorate that their votes are recorded and counted”.
Bautista was quoted by media as saying “voting receipts for the 2016 elections are legally useless since it has no ballot and precint numbers and hastag codes. They cannot be used for the random manual audit (RMA) of votes”.
Gordon who was visibly irked said “As a former law dean, he should know that the law requires the issuance of voter’s receipt”.
Gordon fought for the implementation of a voter’s receipt before the SC which agreed with the former senator’s position by a vote of 14-0.
With less than nine days before the May 9, 2016 elections, Â the voter’s receipt will be one of the papers that will be closely monitored by the voter’s to ensure that their votes are accurately counted. He advised voters to take note of their precinct and the time when they voted as a proof that they cast their votes.
As chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for 15 years, Gordon recalled the role of the 69 yr. volunteer organization in providing valuable and timely assistance to victims of the October, 2013 earthquake that struck Bohol. He escorted the International Red Cross chairman to see the damages brought about the strong tremor. The Red Cross was one agency who was first to provide drinking water supple after the quake and built some houses for the quake victims in Bohol.
Former Sen. Gordon, who was a former tourism secretary said Bohol will remain to be one of the country’s top destinations while expressing his forecast of a brighter development especially once the new Bohol Airport will be completed. He recalled that the domestic tourism market boomed during his incumbency as DOT secretary as he promoted the top tourist sites in the country and at the same urged Filipinos to see “first their beloved country before visiting other countries.”
Gordon who was in a campaign swing in Bohol yesterday was a six term senator, former tourism secretary known for his “Wow Philippines” slogan that featured the Chocolate Hills and was the youngest member of the 1971 Constitutional Convention.(Chito M. Visarra)Â