NAMFREL’S withdrawal


The traditional erstwhile credible NAMFREL’s (National Movement for Free Elections) withdrawal as the citizen’s trusted accredited watchdog for the May 13 election is a big blow to the credibility of this election’s integrity.

It is because the withdrawal of NAMFREL as the accredited citizens watchdog by the COMELEC was based on the poll body’s refusal for NAMFREL to access key election data.

In fairness to COMELEC, we undertand that if NAMFREL were granted access to election data, it could give different sets of data, different from that of COMELEC and therefore would sow confusion and possibly undermine the credibility of the COMELEC and consequently the whole election process.

It is most likely that NAMFREL and COMELEC will have different figures even if they access the same key election data. When this happens, credibility issues will rise and people will question the overall results and eventually proclaim failure of elections God forbid. Too expensive and too risky for COMELEC and the government.

But NAMFREL’s insistence on its withdrawal shows there really is something to hide by some people. Why can’t election data by COMELEC be synchronized by NAMFREL if it’ is a clean election? There should be no problem, but why the refusal to have NAMFREL access election data? That is the big suspicious question.

The rejection of the NAMFREL proposal for access to election data like electronics copies of the certificates of canvass and the statement of votes means NAMFREL would not be able to independently track down and monitor the authenticity of the election results.

If given the data, NAMFREL would be able to track down and observe the general situation and environment of the May 13 elections. But no, NAMFREL, is not authorized to do that by the COMELEC.

So with that scenario alone, the credibility of the results of the polls would be number 1 questioned.

In many places, NAMFREL is replaced by the PPCRV People’s Council which would merely go through the motions but not really assuring clean electoral process and credibility.