WE appeal to patriots who have a part in the operation of the most powerful multi-media corporations and organizations — ABS-CBN, GMA, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Manila Bulletin and the Philippine Star — to help save our electoral democracy and our Republic itself.
We beg you, colleagues in media, to tell our people of the serious crimes that have been committed against them and our Republic by the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic.
Smartmatic illegally ran the 2010 and 2013 elections using the PCOS machines, and deliberately violated specific provisions of our country’s election laws, including the requirements for automated elections to be secured from fraud and errors by safeguards (some of these specified in the law).
Dear and respected colleagues in the larger and more powerful print and radio-TV media organizations, please have mercy on our nation–write about the anomalies in the way the 2010 and 2013 elections were conducted. Help us in exposing how a great many precinct-count results were not transmitted to the canvassing and consolidation centers. Narrate how counting and tabulation of results were stopped before about 25 percent of the results were received and Comelec proclaimed the front-runners as winners, when the results could have changed if no votes were excluded.
We make this appeal to our media colleagues because their voices are needed to make the people hear and respond to the call to rise in revolt against the way the Comelec is going about its preparations for the 2016 elections.
Comelec’s preparations very ominously look like 2016 will be a repeat of 2010 and 2013.
We had hoped — and prayed hard — that under new Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista the poll commission would undo the anomalous and criminal set-up organized with Smartmatic by his predecessors. Now it seems that instead of Smartmatic being banned forever from involvement in our election, this criminal group is still very much in.
The Comelec allowed it to participate in and has won the bidding for the P7.857 billion contract to lease 70,977 precinct-based optical mark reader (OMR) machines for use in the 2016 elections.
The Comelec under Chairman Bautista ignored the call of experts, civil society organizations of IT experts, social scientists and academics (including Automated Elections Watch-or AES Watch), and of former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman.
These respected persons and institutions have shown, in presentations to committees of both houses of Congress, how flawed, noncompliant with and contemptuous of the laws Smartmatic, abetted by Comelec, has been.
Suits have been filed on behalf of the Filipino people against Smartmatic. More suits are being filed today. No less than bishops and archbishops of the Roman Catholic, as well as Protestant church leaders, elders and pastors, have condemned Smartmatic, its infractions and violations of the law, and its PCOS machines method.
But Chairman Bautista has chosen to ignore these righteous, moral and proper complains. He probably decided to do so, and ignore the stirrings of a patriotic conscience, because it seems that the majority of Filipinos do not care much if their right of suffrage, their right to a credible and transparent election, are trampled upon.
Fellow Filipinos, let us not allow our right to vote to be silently, criminally obliterated by Smartmatic as it did in 2010 and 2013.
Rise against Comelec!