The Random Manual Audit (RMA) of some of the votes to be cast on Monday for the midterm elections will start on May 15, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Friday.
Comelec Commissioner Luie Tito Guia, RMA Committee head, said the lead convenor of the RMA will be the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), together with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) among other civil society groups.
He noted they will be selecting specific precincts on May 14 where they will get samples from the municipalities or cities as the basis of the audit process.
“Our people will be mobilized in getting, retrieving the sample precincts from the city or municipality. We will be publishing this information as well,” said the poll body official at the briefing for the RMA in Manila.
Guia said they will only be looking at the votes for senators, members of House of Representatives and mayors.
On the other hand, LENTE Executive Director Rona Caritos said they are looking to finish the process in less than two weeks, to be held at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.
She also urged people or groups to participate in the auditing of the votes.
“Tentatively it is scheduled for 12 days. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. So, 12 hours dirediretso magsusupervised (So 12 hours straight of supervision). So kailangan talaga ng tao to supervise our teacher auditors (So we need people to supervise our teacher auditors). And they will be paid po” the LENTE official said.
“Well, RMA is a process to ensure the credibility of the elections so we need as many people or organizations involved in the process,” she added.
Meanwhile, Guia said the participation of LENTE was approved by the Commission en banc this week. “We have their participation approved by the en banc. It was approved last Wednesday,” he added.
Originally, the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) is the lead convenor of the RMA, but the former citizens’ arm of the poll body did not accept the latter’s accreditation late last month.
In the 2016 polls, the Namfrel was the lead convenor of the RMA.
The RMA is a manual examination of the ballots to validate the count of the Vote Counting Machine (VCM). (Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)