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US to deploy 90-man election observers on May 9 – embassy

The United States will be deploying a total of 90 monitors to observe and assess the conduct of the May 9 elections in key strategic areas throughout the country.
observers may 9

By ROY C. MABASA

The United States will be deploying a total of 90 monitors to observe and assess the conduct of the May 9 elections in key strategic areas throughout the country.

Acting US Embassy spokesperson John Groch said that of the 90 monitors, about half will be American staff and the other half are Filipino staff.

“All of these will be Embassy employees; thus, they are already here,” Groch told Politiko.ph, adding that the US-assigned monitors have all been accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec)

The US Embassy said the 90-man observers will be divided and will be deployed in about 45 areas around the country.

“There are only 90 monitors and they will be working in teams, so that’s only about 45 locations maximum. But those locations will be scattered around the country, from Mindanao to northern Luzon,” Groch said.

Apart from the US, others, including the European Union (EU), have signified their intent to observe the conduct of the May 9 polls.

The Comelec, as in previous political exercises in the Philippines, recognizes the important role played by international observers in providing accurate and impartial assessments about the conduct of the elections as well as the potential to enhance the integrity of the electoral process.

Even the United Nations Human Rights Committee in 1996 declared that “there should be independent scrutiny of the voting and counting process and access to judicial review or another equivalent process so that electors have confidence in the security of the ballot and the counting of the votes”.

In Asian region, election observation became widespread in the 1990s, following the footsteps of the historic role of the National Movement of Free Election (NAMFREL), a grassroot organization that was instrumental in exposing fraud and the eventual ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

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