Namfrel Davao says “quick count” won’t be quick
M15namfrel (DAVAO CITY) — The chief of the Operation Quick Count here organized by the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) and the Catholic Church’s National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) cannot assure a quick count, but an “accurate count” instead.Eduardo Robillo, NASSA-NAMFREL Davao chair said they have less time to prepare after Comelec’s delayed accreditation of the NAMFREL’s application for quick count.
He said they would rather sacrifice speed than accuracy.
Namfrel, which have been doing quick count since the 1985 snap elections almost did not get the accreditation as Social Action Center (SAC) of the Catholic church also applied for its own accreditation.
Robillo said their primary concern is that they are undermanned.
He said they drew fewer volunteers in these elections with only at least 300 serving more than 3,000 precincts in Davao City. He cited that one reason was they were expecting more reliance on the computerized system, which they have to shelve off for technical reasons.
He said they have a problem with equipment as they have to await arrival from Manila of an alternative system to use in the quick count after finding out incompatibility of computer system.
Robillo also cited lesser financial and organizational support amid withdrawal of local sponsors over the delayed accreditation from the Commission on Elections among other problems.
He cited that the Archdiocese of Davao did not push through with an all-out support to the quick count effort, except for some parishes that threw in contributions like space for the quick count center.
Robillo also cited politicking in Namfrel’s national office as among the reasons of the delay. He said NAMFREL chair Jose Concepcion was replaced due to perceived political partisanship.
He admitted having received his appointment as chair only on Wednesday.
“We are doing best efforts here. At least we assure that we could get 100 percent of election returns and we can do the count at least ahead of Comelec because we will be free from partisan intervention,” he told reporters around 11p.m. Monday night.
He could not assure if they would be able to finish counting all the election results.
“We are working with best efforts, but the situation is not promising,” he said.
Robillo admitted the quick count is experiencing financial difficulties to the extent of using some personal resources just to be able to move ahead.
He said the seed money sent from Namfrel and NASSA have already dried up.
He said they are relying on the generosity of Dabawenyos to push through counting.
Robillo said they are still open to contributions and volunteers for the quick count.
He said it would be an embarrassment and a big let down to the people of Davao if the citizen’s quick counting will not be pushed through.
He said it would mean Namfrel’s reputation also if it will not finish its operations, he said. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)