33 PCOS units in Davao Norte, Comval conk out — military

May. 18, 2010

TAGUM CITY—33 units of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine malfunctioned in areas covered by the 1003rd Infantry Brigade (IB) of the Philippine Army.

Col. Domingo Tutaan, deputy brigade commander, explained that he came up with the number through the military security teams deployed in their brigade’s area of responsibility (AOR), which include the entire Davao del Norte and areas in the western portion of Compostela Valley province.

He said about 25 of the 33 monitored PCOS units which malfunctioned, were spread in clustered precincts in Davao del Norte while the rest were in Compostela Valley.

However, he said the operations of most of the PCOS units were restored by Smartmatic technicians. “Nagawan din ng paraan (They found a way),” Tutaan said.

Tutaan also revealed that opening of polls started well and on time in all precincts under the 1003rd IB’s AOR except in Misulong of Sto. Nino, Talaingod where there was a glitch in one of the PCOS machines. “But it started after 10 to 15 minutes,” he said of polling in Misulong.

Commission on Election (Comelec) provincial election supervisor (PES) lawyer Gay Enumerables admitted that there were PCOS units that malfunctioned in the Island Garden City of Samal, in Asuncion, in Tagum City, and in Sto. Tomas but at the time she was interviewed, she could not say the exact number.

The 1003rd IB gathered data on all election-related incidents through the network it built through the Joint Monitoring and Coordination Center, which included members of the Philippine National Police, Comelec, the Department of Education and other agencies involved in holding the national and local elections.

Tutaan revealed that deployed troops were given instructions not only to report incidents which were threats to security but also election details such as opening and closing of precincts. He said all reports from the field regarding vote-casting in all polling precincts started to come in at about 7:45 in the morning of May 10.

He said 1003rd troops committed to make the elections peaceful and orderly. “We will guard (the elections) with our lives,” he said.(PIA XI)

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