Poll watchdog wants elections held on May 9

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Poll watchdog Kontra Daya protested outside the Commission on Elections (Comelec) headquarters in Manila on Tuesday (March 15), calling for election transparency.

Kontra Daya convenor Danilo Arao slammed the warnings by the Comelec and poll technology provider Smartmatic that there could be a failure of elections on May 9. Comelec and Smartmatic also said it may not be credible if it's held as scheduled. The poll body earlier said it needs more time to prepare to enable poll machines to print receipts.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista earlier said that printing the receipts will extend voting time by 20 hours. He is also worried it will facilitate vote-buying.

Arao, however, insisted the disadvantages cited by Bautista are baseless and speculative.

The University of the Philippines professor said postponing the elections is unacceptable.

Under the Constitution, it states elections should be held on the second Monday of May.

Some of the political parties say they have reached a consensus that credible and automated elections should be held as scheduled on May 9. Kontra Daya also believes the lesson here is not to trust foreign-controlled automated systems.

It said it is better to rely on indigenous Filipino technology and consult with Filipino programmers who know the country's culture.