Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today urged the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to reconsider its decision to cut the budget for the 2013 mid-term elections, saying that a return to manual polling would “resurrect fears of chaos, fraud and cheating.”
“It will be a step backward for our democracy,” the Vice President said.
Binay issued the statement after the DBM cut the P13 billion poll budget of the Commission on Elections to P8 billion. Comelec chair Sixto Brilliantes Jr. had said that the budget cut may force the constitutional body to revert to manual elections in 2013.
Binay also said a possible return to manual polling “could lead to political instability, which we do not need, since this would impact on investor confidence.”
In urging the DBM to reconsider the cuts, the Vice President said “the amount being requested is a small investment in political stability and in further strengthening democracy.”
Binay recalled that the introduction of automated polling in the 2010 presidential elections removed opportunities for cheating and fraud. He said had it not been for automation, he could have been cheated in the elections.
He said the people saw his election victory and that of President Benigno Aquino III as “a validation of their will.”
“For the people, the results of the 2010 automated elections were very credible. Had it been a manual election, there was a high probability that I would have been cheated,” Binay said.