OR are they in fact willfully aiding the Comelec impose the illegal Smartmatic Automated Election System (AES) cum Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines on our electoral process to ensure the perpetuation of BS Aquino-Liberal Party rule?
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) is the Comelec authorized watchdog in Philippine elections.
Our issue yesterday had the story “PPCRV seeks reforms in electoral system” with a large picture showing Madam Henrietta de Villa, chairwoman of PPCRV and Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, with other PPCRV officials, at the launching of
their new clean-election crusade called “One Good Vote.” This commendable initiative aims to persuade people at the barangay, sitio and family level to reject the temptation to sell their vote to politicians and their ward leaders.
Madam de Villa said in the past the PPCRV in helping educate voters to become more moral and responsible took a “top to bottom” approach. Now, she said, in “One Good Vote” PPCRV will concentrate on a specific locality where reform-minded voters will engage others and persuade these to help make the elections clean and honest.
Madam de Villa lamented the fact that while the PPCRV has been involved in the electoral process for 24 years during which time “many things have changed for the better” vote-buying and vote-selling have remained. It has even become worse. She said that unlike before when politicians bought individual votes, now vote buyers and vote sellers agree on the buying and selling of the votes of entire families or even clans.
As an institution, PPCRV declares that vote buying is a reason corruption is hard to eradicate in government. It says, “Vote buying has enabled the proliferation of political dynasties and controlled territories, it has strengthened the stranglehold of the so-called 4Gs– Guns, Goons, Gold and Greed.”
The May 2016 elections –for president, vice-president. Senators, congressmen, governors and other local officials–said Madam de Villa is the “right time to elect good leaders and reform the way people vote.”
Fantastic, commendable drive
The “One Good Vote” crusade is simply great, fantastic, commendable and must be supported by all patriotic Filipinos who want a more ethical citizenry to elect people of integrity and we hope possessing the skills to govern.
But we are bothered by this one outstanding fact: Why is the PPCRV silent about the astronomically expensive and unlawful Smartmatic Automated Election System, using the illegal, unreliable and manipulated PCOS machines. The Smartmatic AES cum PCOS machines was used in the 2010 and 2013, which even retired Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes himself admitted to have had serious glitches that caused inaccurate results!
Verified and proven anomalies in the PCOS counting of precinct votes and in the transmission –and nontransmission–of results have been seen and reported throughout the country. Election protests by losers could not progress when PCOS machines reported numbers exceeding the voting population of a precinct because there is nothing in the way of tangible proof–except the wrong results–that the machines misread ballots and miscounted the votes inside their bellies.
These anomalies happened because the Smartmatic AES cum PCOS machines is totally untransparent. There are no witnesses to the counting, the ballots are not seen inside the machines, how the machines interpreted the shaded ovals is not known and there is no paper receipt–as in an ATM machine or a restaurant credit card transaction–to record the counts and the votes.
The 3- to 4-hour saving of time by a hidden and untransparent PCOS machine count turns into nothing when two to three week delays happen, as in 2010 and 2013, in the canvassing and consolidation centers. It is there where the cheating and dagdag-bawas happen.
More technologically advanced countries, like Germany and Australia and about a dozen or more others, have dropped their PCOS machine type of process to revert to their older manual but transparent precinct-level election process. Why did Brilllantes and why does the present Comelec insist on the Smartmatic AES cum PCOS machine?
And why do Madam de Villa and her collaborators in PPCRV go along with this abuse of the Filipino people’s right to TRANSPARENT, fair, honest and credible elections.