Akbayan Partylist slammed the decision of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) en banc to dismiss the petition to initiate a special random manual audit (RMA) for partylist votes.

“It was a missed opportunity for Comelec to assure the public on the credibility of the elections. Our petition was to safeguard the votes of the electorate after numerous allegations of disenfranchisement of partylist votes,” Akbayan Chairperson Emeritus Etta Rosales said in a statement.

The audit process is a verification mechanism done to check the results for the senatorial and district representative races by comparing manual results to the automated. The petition filed by Akbayan, Rosales and people's organizations also asked for partylist representatives to be invited as observers.

“It is unfortunate that the decision came out as the proclamation is just around the corner. This gives us little to no time to appeal their decision and help them with ensuring transparency required for the polls," Rosales added. 

"The victims with Comelec's decision are the marginalized sectors for whom the partylist system was built for. Excluding partylist votes from the audit effectively degraded the status of partylists. This was a stain on Comelec's record that they deliberately chose not to correct," Rosales said. ###