Akbayan Partylist sought for the Comelec en banc during today's session to include partylist votes in the random manual audit (RMA) and allow partylist groups to observe the process. 

Partylist votes are currently not included in the RMA currently conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Commission on Elections (Comelec), and watchdog group Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) for 715 clustered precincts nationwide.  

"Comelec should have a special random manual audit for partylist votes. This is crucial especially after multiple reports of discrepancy of votes in the ballot and voters' receipts," Akbayan spokesperson Gio Tingson said.

"Proclaimed partylist nominees are part of the House of Representatives. The results for partylists would therefore need the verification process too," Tingson said.

"Partylist election results will remain questionable if it's not included in the auditing process. Counting the partylist votes manually in selected precincts and comparing it with the automated count will help ensure that not a single vote was compromised," Tingson said.

"We also ask Comelec to invite concerned partylist groups and be allowed to observe the audit process for partylists," Tingson added.

Akbayan in their manifestation before the poll body also cited the following election issues for the Comelec to respond to:

(1) Disenfranchisement of our voters brought about by malfunctioning of vote counting machines, and reports of misprinted ballots;

(2) At least seven hours of delay for the transparency, and other servers, to show the data from transmitted election returns; 

(3) Widespread instances of discrepancy between the votes in the ballot and the result reflected in the vote verification paper audit trail;

(4) Non-inclusion of party-list votes in the random manual audit; 

(5) Reports of vote-buying committed by party-list groups and other candidates. ###