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Failed Polls Or Dagdag Bawas’ Return In 2010?

November 5, 2009


Red flags are being raised anew about next year’s all-important elections failing.

Sen. Chiz Escudero, one of the leading presiudential contenders, is seriously worried about  the Commission on elections has all but consigned its constitutional mandate to manage the elections to its Venezuelan partner-provider Smartmatic, with the production and delivery of contracted precinct-level voting machines falling behind schedule.

IT businessman Joey de Venecia:

While the Aboitiz company 2Go is one of the biggest delivery companies in the country, it only covers about 80 percent of the Philippines.

To assign the task to smaller companies is a very risky undertaking. A distribution glitch at this late stage does not bode well for the May 2010 elections.

Obviously, there is already a problem in guaranteeing that all precincts nationwide will be getting the voting machines on time. The cancellation of the Smartmatic-Aboitiz contract tells us that something has been amiss from the beginning. I hate to say I told you so, but the Comelec is clearly not fully prepared for such a huge undertaking as full automation.

We cannot afford to use the May 2010 presidential elections as a test case. Instead, we should just computerize the elections in Metro Manila, and if all goes well, fully automate the barangay elections later next year.

Sen. Richard Gordon:

Alam ko merong mga nagpaplano.Mga congressman bababalitaan ko, wag na raw gamitin muna. I-postmuna muna yung automated election.

Lalu tayo dapat matakot dun. Pero di kami sa Senado papayag na ipagpaliban ang automated elections. (There are those who are planning to sabotage the 2010 elections. There are congressmen, I hear, who want the automated elections postponed . That is fearsome. But we in the Senate will not agree to a postponement of the automated elections.)

Sen. Gordon is, of course, referring to known election fraud operators like Virgillo Garcillano and Lintang Bedol and how ‘command vote’ areas like Mindanao’s Lanao provinces are regularly the source of dagdag-bawas fake election tallies.

The editorial graphic by artist Carlo Barrameda captures the danger:

carlo garci cartoon

comelec smartmatic montage

The easy route would be to wave away these warnings as baseless, banking only on the COMELEC’s wholesale assurances.

But taking that attitude is downright irresponsible, if not grossly moronic.

We just don’t have enough fingers to cross or Hail Mary’s to toss to the heavens.

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