Tacloban City (May 18) — Random Manual Audit was conducted in 60 precincts across Region 8, Commission on Elections Region 8 Director Jose Nick Mendros informed.
Director Mendros said that the RMA guidelines provided for the conduct of the manual audit in five precincts per legislative districts. Since there are 12 legislative districts in the Region, 60 clustered precincts participated in the RMA, the good Director added.
For the first district of Leyte, RMA was conducted in Babatngon, Palo, and three clustered precincts in Tacloban City. For the second district, RMA was conducted at Barugo, Burauen, MacArthur and 2 in Jaro while for the third district, same was conducted at Calubian, San Isidro and Leyte. For the fourth district, RMA was conducted at Kananga and Ormoc while for the fifth district, the same was done at Abuyog, Bato, Inopacan, Javier and Mahaplag.
In Southern Leyte, RMA was conducted at Bontoc, Maasin City, St. Bernard and Tomas Oppus. In Biliran, RMA was conducted at Biliran, Culaba, Kawayan, and Naval.
In the Province of Samar, MRA was conducted in 8 municipalities namely: Hinabangan, Catbalogan, Sta. Rita, Villareal, Daram, Sta. Margarita, Tarangnan and Gandara.
In Eastern Samar, selected as areas where MRA were Can-avid, Maydolong, Oras, and Lawaan while in Northern Samar, the areas were Catubig, Laoang and Pambujan.
As to the result of the Random Manual Audit, Director Mendros said that the results were immediately sent to Comelec Manila, thus, he does not know what the results were.
On May 10, representatives of the PPCRV and Comelec randomly selected the precincts that will undergo manual auditing through a raffle at the Comelec command center at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
The manual audit is done to countercheck the results that the automated machines came out with. Positions audited are president, vice president, member of the House of Representatives, governor and mayor.
The Department of Education (DepEd) will determine who will make up the RMA team in the selected precincts.
Teachers who served in the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) were not included in the RMA team to protect the accuracy of the audit. BEI members were also banned from entering any precinct where the RMA was taking place, and they were not allowed to speak with any RMA member.
Aside from checking the accuracy of the machine count, the audit team will also check if the number of ballots contained in a ballot box matches the number of people who voted.
The RMA would help identify any discrepancies in the election process, allowing the Comelec to conduct an investigation under Republic Act 9369 or the Poll Automation Law. (PIA 8)