By Arjane Faith Paala

PHOTO: Comelec

The Commission on Election (Comelec) dismissed suspicions regarding the 2022 Elections as they reported 99.9 percent accuracy between the ongoing random manual audit (RMA) and the results of the automated election returns (ERs).

As of May 23, Comelec acting spokesperson Rex Laudiangco affirmed the average match rate with the 163 audited ballot boxes from the retrieved 737 out of 757 randomly selected polling precincts.

The poll body spearheaded the RMA in partnership with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente), National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), the Philippine Institute of Certified Accountants (Picpa), and the audit professionals group ISACA Manila chapter.

A separate manual counting by poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Counting for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) recorded an accuracy rate of 100% based on 77,786 out of 78,894 collected ERs.

Meanwhile, said cheating speculations were initially suspected after the speedy vote counting despite malfunctions in several vote counting machines (VCMs) and the presumed consistency in the two leading presidentiables' vote margin, to which election commissioners were quick to deny.

"The random manual audit will determine and will bolster our faith in the electoral system. That the machine count is accurate and that the machine counts is what is reflected in the ballots,” Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino said as the election body aims to prove its reliability and integrity.

The National Board of Canvassers (NOBC) officially proclaimed on Wednesday Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte as president-elect and vice-president-elect, respectively, despite the pending appeal on the disqualification case of the former. The said appeal to review the dismissal of his case can possibly cause an upturn in the results. 

"Congress, sitting as the NBOC, is duty-bound to make sure that the entire process of vote counting and transmission of results will be done expeditiously and with utmost transparency and integrity," House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco guaranteed.

With only two days of vote canvassing, the 2022 Elections set the quickest time in the election history, beating the three-day record from 2016. The congress started Tuesday and finished Wednesday at 3:33 pm.

Edited by Nehmia Elyxa Relano