FIRST of all, the author of this Times editorial would like to declare that he has asked Our Lord in a solemn meditation for pardon for having to criticize the stand and statement made by His Eminence Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle against the call of the National Transformation Council for President B. S. Aquino to step down.
It does not seem to us that the Archbishop Cardinal disagrees with the NTC’s reasons for finding it necessary to implore President Aquino to step down for the common good. It is just that he believes that instead of giving Aquino the boot, the nation should cooperate with him and his administration to strengthen government institutions.
Accepting the possibility that indeed under BS Aquino governance has become so bad, His Eminence agrees that change must be made–but serenely and with civility.
“The election is near. So let the electoral process work and let the people decide who the next leader should be. He (President Aquino) is no longer seeking reelection,” he said in London.
The National Transformation Council includes many Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. Among them are Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and former CBCP president Archbishop Capalla. They see that the Aquino administration has committed so many social crimes and must end soonest before it inflicts more harm on our people, our society and our Republic.
We agree with the NTC’s call and regret to see Archbishop Cardinal Tagle shoring up the criminally negligent, corrupt and mendacious President BS Aquino’s tottering regime.
What we most lament is finding that his Eminence has spoken in support of President Aquino’s remaining in office apparently without regard to the facts about our nation’s precarious political condition.
He gives unwarranted value to the power of the people to change our country’s leadership through the electoral process in 2016.
Smartmatic-PCOS has destroyed our electoral process
The destruction of our electoral process is a major reason the members of the National Transformation Council wish Mr. Aquino not to stay on as president any day longer.
Archbishop Cardinal Tagle does not seem to know that — unless President Aquino gives up his predilection for the Comelec’s will to continue the use of the Smartmatic Automated Election System or AES in the 2016 election–the electoral process will no longer give us, the people, the power to choose who our next leader will be.
For the Smartmatic AES with PCOS machines is a fraudulent and illegal system.
Experts in information and cyber technology, technical experts in electoral methods and systems, former officials of the Commission on Elections have explained, and demonstrated, in congressional hearings, in articles in The Manila Times and some other publications (but not in the conscript press), in radio and TV interviews, in forums at colleges and universities that the Smartmatic Systen cum PCOS machines employed in the 2010 and 2013 elections and to be employed again in 2016, is ILLEGAL and fraudulent. The system produces results that do not reflect the people’s will.
These experts–unjustly maligned by former Comelec Chairman Brillantes as mere troublemakers — have shown that ballots inserted into the PCOS machines are sometimes misread, sometimes not read at all, sometimes altered intentionally through the manipulation of the programs in the cards (the software bearing chips placed inside the machines) by technicians who possess the codes and passwords.
They have shown that the Smartmatic System-cum PCOS machines, in violation of the two Philippine laws governing the automation of our elections, is a process that has no transparency, no verification system and no public display of results at the precinct level. Only the PCOS machine “knows” what the precinct vote count is.
The PCOS machines transmit results to canvassing centers without these results being verified and certified to be correct by the teachers who make up the precinct Board of Election Inspectors. For how can these humans of the BEIs certify anything if they do not see how the ballots have been handled and the votes in them counted inside the bowels of the PCOS machine?
This is the electoral process that the members of the National Transformation Council would like to change because it means the death of Philippine democracy. And the process can only change if President Aquino wills to terminate Smartmatic AES/PCOS machine control. But he will not.
This is the electoral process that, naively and ignorantly, our dear and revered Archbishop Cardinal Tagle is telling us to trust in 2016 so we can choose our next president, senators, congressmen and local government officials.