• A million thanks to Dick Gordon

    9

    THE nation’s electorate owes a million thanks to former Sen. Dick Gordon for his efforts to make sure that their votes in May will be correctly recorded through verifiable receipts printed by the vote counting machines.

    The Commission on Elections had vigorously opposed Dick’s conscientious demand that it abide by the provision of the Automated Election System law for Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail. The poll body ignored this provision in the 2010 and 2013 elections. Well, Dick believed that enough is enough. It can’t continue to ignore the law and do as it pleases.

    Fortunately, the Supreme Court sided with Dick. The Comelec even tried to blackmail the SC by saying compliance with the law would derail the May 9 election. Sorry, but this didn’t work. The SC voting 13-0 made its decision final last Thursday by rejecting Comelec’s appeal that it reconsider its earlier decision.

    The operators who made a killing in the two previous elections must be cursing Dick for his persistence. They may curse and curse but the voters will be thanking Dick for ensuring that the proclaimed winners are really elected by them, not by machines that could be hacked and manipulated.

    As explained by Dick who’s running for the Senate, the paper audit trail gives the voter the opportunity to verify if the candidates of his choice were the ones recorded by the machines.

    “Several safeguards were put in place to ensure the sanctity of the ballot. Among these safeguards as the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail,” said Dick, former chairman of the Senate Committee on Suffrage and Revision of Laws, and author-sponsor of the Automated Election System law.

    Incidentally, Solicitor General Florin Hilbay represented the Comelec before the High Tribunal. There’s nothing wrong with this because the SolGen is supposed to represent the government, and the Comelec is a constitutional body. Uh-huh, I see some inconsistency in this. It will be recalled that previously, Hilbay opposed before the SC the Comelec en banc’s unanimous decision disqualifying Sen. Grace Poejuangco from running for president. Isn’t the Comelec a government body? So why is the SolGen opposing its decision against Poejuangco? Ah, but not all every question needs an answer.

    Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they will comply with the SC decision on implementing the poll safeguard. At the same time, he echoed the warning of Smartmatic that about 20 percent of the vote counting machines could malfunction without a new source code. Smartmatic has won the bidding for the counting machines, just like it did in 2010 and 2013.

    Bautista didn’t say this but by implication, it becomes clear that the source code supplied by Comelec was not configured to comply with the requirements of the law. Now, why did the poll body allow this? Elementary, dear Watson. Why do you think 60-30-10 in the 2013 senatorial election came about? Why do you think many supposed “winners” refused to allow the manual count of votes in protested elections if they really won fair and square?

    The 2013 election in Dinalupihan, Bataan was Exhibit A on charges that the counting machines could be doctored and yet, the Comelec didn’t even bother to give it a deeper look.

    Things look brighter now for the upcoming election, thanks to the valiant efforts of Dick Gordon. I hope the voters will know how to thank him appropriately.

    Time for Senator Miriam to call it quits

    I’m an avid fan of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. I always wish her well. It’s for these reasons that I beg of her to end her run for the presidency and look after her health first and foremost.

    Her well-wishers can’t help but feel grave concern after she had decided against joining the presidential debate in Cebu City for health reasons. She had admitted suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer but claimed that she had been cured of this dreaded disease before announcing her candidacy for President. With this latest development, her friends and admirers shouldn’t be faulted for fearing a recurrence of her ailment.

    Many, including me, and especially the youth, believe that Senator Miriam is among the best qualified to be President among the five candidates. We will continue to admire her and have her in our hearts even if she’ll end her quest for the presidency.

    19espiloy47@gmail.com

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    9 Comments

    1. The thing to watch is the digital transmission of election returns. This is where a lot of “kababalaghan” in the electoral process can transpire.

    2. Ito namang si Gordon late na kung umepal. Dapat noon pa nya pinush yan. Dahil ba sa
      kandidato sya ngayon at para mapagusapan sya?

      • Bagong Bayani on

        Gordons team have been asking the Comelec since 2010 to implement ALL the security features of the automated machines. It’s only been early February that they have formally decided not to implement the VVPAT. Whether it’s the OLD COMELEC or the NEW COMELEC, the syndicate operating there remains the same. The criminal pattern is apparent. First, they decide among themselves without making it public that they will not comply with the law, then they make a formal announcement late in the game (near the elections) that they will not comply with the law. Then when someone complains they say it’s too late. They’re acts are premeditated and criminal. With the VVPAT, we filed the Petition 6 days after they formally announced before the JCOC that they were not implementing it. They never did that in the past. Besides, are you saying there should be an expiration date for complaining against flagrant and continuing violations of the law?

        14 out of 15 justices of the SC seemed to think there is wisdom in issuing receipts.

      • They’ve been pushing for it since 2010 when such type of voting was first used. Know your facts. Wag kang keyboard warrior.

    3. Fair N Square on

      It is premature to judge if the decision to print voter receipts is right. We have assumed that the orderliness of the election will be the same with or without voter receipts. However, a process with more steps (adding voter receipts) will likely have a higher risk of having more problems or malfunctions than a process with less steps (without voter receipts). The decision may have unintended consequences. Let wait for May 9 and see what happens.

    4. Nestor Baylan on

      A voting receipt is a useless requirement. Even if election fraud was committed one can’t gather all those receipts to prove that fraud occured. A voting receipt is no different from a sales receipt that the buyer has to honor a sales return. You are saying thank you you to Gordon for what? Mistrust of technology and the electoral process ? We are buch of cheaters!

    5. hindi pa rin tayo nakakasigurado na yung program na inilagay sa hocus pcos will record what the voter listed in his ballot and shown in the receipt. only consolation is meron ng audit trail kung merong maglagak ng electoral protest. meron ng hard copy na basehan ang protesta.

    6. Finally the attempt to do what is correct in the forthcoming election is successful after failing twice, in 2010 and 2013. Thank you Dick Gordon and thank you SC for doing what is right and not allow yourselves to be used by Andy Bautista unlike bowing down to a corrupt Comelec chair, Sixto Brillantes, a shameless Comelec head.