“Aeschylus wrote: ’In our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
–Extemporaneous remarks by
Robert F. Kennedy on the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dear Chairman Bautista:
I was told by a few people who know you that you are a good and upright man. It is this description of part of your character that is reassuring. But let me tell you that it takes more than a good and upright man to conduct clean and honest elections in this country.
Why am I presumptuous to say this? I have actively participated in local and national elections from way back when – when I was just a kid of nine in one of the re-election bids of my father, Mayor Pedro Adaza, Jr. of our town, Catarman, Camiguin, in the re-election bid of my father-in-law, Governor Alfonso Dadole of Misamis Oriental; my gubernatorial campaign during martial law as Opposition candidate for Governor of the province of Misamis Orientall; and my run as Opposition candidate for membership in the regular parliament under martial rule. These were on the local level.
On the national level — in the presidential run of President Corazon C. Aquino in the snap elections; the senatorial campaign of the Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD) during the first election after the installation of President Cory; the presidential campaign of Vice-President Salvador “Doy” Laurel for the presidency of the Republic; and the national campaign for the presidency of Speaker Jose “Joe” de Venicia. On top of these was my effrontery to refuse the Chairmanship of the Comelec as conveyed to me by Speaker Joe and Congressman Edelmiro “Edel” Amante who was one time Executive Secretary of President Fidel V. Ramos. I refused the offer because of the mild hint that I should be friendly to the administration candidates during the coming elections.
I think with these credentials and many more, I can qualify to ask questions on how you can conduct clean and honest elections in 2016.
The unresolved questions
Still pending resolution by the Supreme Court is the case I and journalist Herman “Mentong” Laurel filed in 2010 questioning the legality and constitutionality of the 2010 elections. The case questions the conduct of the elections by the Comelec and SMARTMATIC since many of the provisions of the Automated Election Law were disregarded– from the printing of the ballots, all security arrangements, and the existence of the source code.
Don’t you think that it is about time you should ask the Supreme Court, as one of the parties in that case, to decide the case so all doubts about the 2010 elections and the SMARTMATIC PCOS machines be once and for all resolved. Otherwise, if the case is not decided before the elections, the doubts about the legitimacy of the 2010 and the coming 2016 elections will continue to linger. But lingering, it can cause a serious situation that could plunge the country into a national upheaval.
Other than this, you must investigate and resolve the other lingering questions involving issues that go deeply into our elections and the pivotal role of the Comelec.
First, have you investigated the continuing whispers in the grapevine that the Liberal Party received 5.2 BILLION PESOS for use during the 2010 elections? If you have, what was the result of that investigation? If not, why did you not investigate the truth or falsity of the information since it had something to do with elections and violation of our election laws?
Second, did you investigate the crash of the helicopter that killed Governor Raffy Nantes who was a passenger? Some sources claim that he was on his way to an interview with TV commentator Anthony Taberna to unmask the identities of the LP personalities who received the money, since it was claimed that it was Nantes who delivered the drug money to the alleged unknown personalities? If you did investigate, what was the result of the investigation? If you did not, were you not recreant to your duties since those are some of the mandated duties of the Comelec on violation of election offenses?
Third, since President GMA apologized for the conduct of the 2004 elections, lending credibility to the Garci tape which detailed the violations of the election law to make GMA president, did you investigate fully the serious incident? If so, who are the criminal participants in the Comelec featured in the confessions in the Garci tape? Are they still in the Comelec? If they are still there, why were they not dismissed administratively and charged criminally?
Fourth, there is a source who claimed that five strategic officials in the Comelec asked him to offer to presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro to buy the 2010 elections for 1.5 BILLION PESOS. To verify their authenticity, the Comelec officials told him that they were the ones who manipulated the 2004 elections for President GMA and Garcillano was only their errand boy. When the offered party asked the Comelec officials if they were they not afraid of being discovered, they replied that they were not afraid because they already have houses in Canada and at the first hint of discovery they will just fly to Canada and enjoy their life there.
The offered party refused to present the proposal to the Teodoros. A week later an information was relayed to the offered party whose initial is MM that a vice-presidential candidate bought the project from the Comelec officials. This was how short and dark the information was relayed to me. Did you conduct an investigation into this information? If you did, what was the result of your investigation? If true, are these Comelec officials still with the Comelec? If so, why are they still there?
Fifth, the SMARTMATIC claimed in the Locsin committee in the House of Representatives conducting an investigation on the conduct of the 2010 elections that the PCOS could not be hacked, it was hacked with the use of the laptop of Congresswoman Annie Susano. Why are you still using the PCOS of SMARTMATIC when the machine is obviously defective?
Sixth, are you not aware of the information coming from the field that one way of effectively cheating in the elections is to change the CF cards with pre-programmed CF cards on the pretext that the one in the machine is defective? Did you investigate this information? If so, what is the result of your investigation?
Seventh, have you received any information that out of 80,000 PCOS that you use in the national elections, you need only 250 PCOS to elect a President? If so, did you conduct any investigation to verify the truth or falsity of this information? If you did, what was the result of your investigation? If not, why did you not conduct such an investigation?
Eighth, a knowledgeable friend told me that when SMARTMATIC filed a case in the USA against Dominion, Inc., SMARTMATIC claimed that Dominion did not deliver the source code for the purpose of the 2010 elections? Did you conduct an investigation to determine the veracity of this information? If you did, what was the result of the investigation? If not, why did you not conduct such an investigation?
Ninth, did you restore the safety and security measures in the PCOS machines which the Comelec removed in violation of the Automated Election System Law in the 2010 elections? If so when? What measures were restored?
Tenth, are the ballots you printed for use in the 2016 elections consistent with the required marks in the AES Law to prevent the use of fake ballots?
Eleventh, Are you aware of the claim of some IT experts that the transmission of the results of the elections from the precincts can be pre-empted by the transmission of early false results which will then prevent the acceptance of later transmissions of the true results? If you are you aware of this claim, did you conduct an investigation on this matter? If so, what is the result? If not, why not?
Twelfth, many Comelec field officials have been involved in cheating in previous elections, did you investigate their involvement? If so what was the result of your investigation? If not, why not?
Thirteenth, in the tests you conducted of the PCOS you found glitches which were the same glitches in the same machines when tested by the Comelec in the 2010 elections. Why does Comelec insist on using these machines with these glitches which subject the elections to very serious doubts?
The answers are urgent and important
If you can answer these questions for the public to know the truth, then there is hope that you can conduct clean and honest elections in 2016, if they come. By this time, you should know that the record of the Comelec in so far as holding clean, honest and orderly election is not only scandalous, it is nightmarish. However, I give you the benefit of doubt even as I consider your neither here nor there decisions in the Poe and Duterte disqualification cases, and your acceptance of SMARTMATIC as the source of the PCOS machines.
It does not only need brains and balls to conduct clean and honest elections in this country. You need brains in your balls and balls in your brains to do it. Have you that magical combination?
HOMOBONO A. ADAZA
Former: Governor of Misamis Oriental, Member of the Regular Parliament, Opposition head of the Committee On Revision of the Laws and Constitutional Amendments, in Parliament, Professor of Constitutional and Political Law and co-author of the Omnibus Election Law
(For comments send them to adazalawoffice@yahoo. Com)