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Poll automation bill ‘urgent’—Palace

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:11:00 02/26/2009

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang reminded lawmakers that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo certified as urgent a bill appropriating P11.3 billion to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to automate the 2010 polls.

“I think we have sent a lot of signals already. That is the strongest signal that the Palace can send on that issue,” deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said, referring to the urgent certification.

“Members of Congress are aware of the deadline set by the Comelec. They are aware of that. Everybody is working hard to reach that point,” he said.

The Palace supports the poll body’s position that eradicating cheating “will entail full automation,” he said.

Comelec Chairman Jose Melo had raised concerns that a “hybrid” election in 2010, or a combination of manual and automated systems, could pave the way for a repeat of massive cheating that allegedly occurred in the last general election in 2004.

Arroyo was an alleged beneficiary of the poll fraud, which enabled her to win a fresh six-year term over popular movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., who died in 2005.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2009-02-26T08:27:19+00:00UTC02bUTCThu, 26 Feb 2009 08:27:19 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am02

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