Question: I am keen on serving as a polling agent, but does that mean I have to be seen as aligned to any political parties or neutral?

Answer: Sherene, Your concerns are valid and common to most of our members.

We have 3 objectives:

1. To protect the interests of the Candidate. That is fair, since the PACABA is appointed by the Candidate,
2. To protect the interest of the voter by protecting the secrecy of voting,
3. To protect the interest of society by promoting Free and Fair Elections.

Under the current laws, the only way we can serve as a PACABA is by appointment through a Candidate. So we use that appointment as a vehicle to achieve the 3 objectives. A responsible candidate will have no objections with our objectives.

As such, we do not need to be aligned to any political party.

A PACABA is inside the polling station. A PACABA has the right to:
a. Collect all the Forms needed during elections, especially Forms 13 & 14..
b. To sign Forms issued by the Presiding Officer and needed to determine the final voting results,
c. To issue Objection Letters against any abuse of authority by the Presiding Officer.
d. To prevent cheating by anybody inside the polling station.

Literary, the PACABA is the last line of defence. That can make or break a Candidate.

A PEMANTAU is outside the school. He/she is useful in creating the mood to encourage change. The Filipinos did it successfully to help Aquino topple Marcos. But there were nearly 1/2 million of them. Here we are talking about 10,000. Which is not enough, but a start.

If you want to make a difference, it is to be a PACABA. Since your last training, more and more cheating cases are coming to light. As such, you need to come for a refresher course.