• Stop Smartmatic and Lord Malloch-Brown

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    Eight Filipino bishops and archbishops, two Protestant pastors and two concerned laymen have asked the Supreme Court to strike down as unconstitutional and void the Commission on Elections’ juggling of P12.641 billion in public funds to pay for the purchase of 93,977 Optical Mark Readers (OMR), a new variant of the widely assailed precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine, from the Venezuelan marketing firm Smartmatic for the May 2016 elections. The questioned realignment of funds is similar to the notorious fund transfers under the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program. The High Court has declared void and unconstitutional, and ordered the prosecution of those involved in its manipulation and misuse.The only apparent difference is that where President B.S. Aquino 3rd authored the illegal DAP transfers, the Comelec alone is responsible for the illegal juggling of the P12.641 billion.

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    Many welcomed the SC petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order as a genuine service to the voters. At least one blogger referred to the petitioners as “the Magnificent 12.” These include Archbishop Rolando TriaTirona of the Archdiocese of Caceres, Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz of Zamboanga, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan, Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao, Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Bishop FilomenoBactol of the Diocese of Naval, Biliran, Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos of Butuan, Bishop Ramon Villena of Bayombong, Protestant Pastors Arthur Corpus and Greco Antonious Beda Belgica of Manila, former Biliran Congressman Glenn Chong, and this writer.

    But the bishops and archbishops clearly displeased the administration. “Who do they think they are? Do they believe they should be running the government or the Comelec now? In asking the Supreme Court to stop the realignment of funds, are they not in fact trying to derail or abolish the 2016 elections?” Absurd as they are, these are the questions screeching out in defense of Smartmatic and the Comelec’squestionable purchase of 93.977 OMRs in two separate contracts—-one involving 23,000 units, and another involving 70,977.

    The suggestion is that the clerics’ speaking out violates the constitutional separation of Church and State. This is nonsense. They obviously have a distorted view of the constitutional principle of “separation” and would want to limit the clergy’s participation in the life of the nation solely to the administration of the sacraments and a life of prayer outside the public square. They seem to forget that the bishops are also Filipino citizens, with the same rights and duties as other Filipinos as far as the common good, the national interest and secular matters are concerned.

    Moreover, as spiritual and moral leaders, they have a deeper appreciation of what we must do to function well as a society and a nation. By no means do they threaten to abolish elections when they insist that the Constitution and all pertinent laws be followed at all times. To the contrary, they are simply trying to make sure that the common good remain the government’s guiding principle in all its actions and undertakings, and that elections, through which we are supposed freely and intelligently to choose our leaders, possess and maintain their absolute minimum requirements as a democratic institution.

    The petitioners believe that the massive realignment of funds, as the Supreme Court had ruled in the DAP cases, is morally repugnant and constitutionally reprehensible. Not only does it grossly violate the 2015 General Appropriations Act, Article VI Section 25 (5) of the 1987 Constitution, and recent Supreme Court rulings in Araullo, et al vs. Aquino 3rd, et al (the DAP cases) and Pabillo, et al vs. the Comelec. It also puts the Comelec in a totally untenable position, for which it could be held criminally liable for the gross wastage of public funds and misuse of public resources resulting from the illegal realignment.

    First of all, the Comelec would now utilize all its funds to support just one item—the purchase of 93, 977 OMRs — there by divesting itself of every other appropriation approved by Congress to support the various aspects of the 2016 elections. This includes the P727-million budget for the Voter Verification System, whose illegal removal from the PCOS machine in 2010 and 2013 had contributed a lot to the admittedly illegitimate and fraudulent conduct of the elections. Even the P1.05 billion “savings” from the 2015 SK elections and registrations, and the P70 million “leftover” from the 2014 Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses were also realigned.

    Secondly, the purchase of 93,977 OMRs allowsor compels the Comelec to put its 81,000 old PCOS machines in the dead stockpile, after spending P9 billion on their acquisition. Instead of buying the new OMRs, the Comelec could have had those 81,000 old PCOS repaired by Smartmatic for only P2.07 billion, (upgraded from P1.6 billion), leaving the Comelec enough money to pay for the cost of restoring all the legally mandated safety and security features and accuracy mechanisms. These are the things the Comelec had illegally removed in the last two elections, resulting in rigged process which produced “de facto” rather than “de jure” officials.

    These features include the Ultra Violet Scan, which would allow every voter to know whether or not he is using the authorized ballot paper; the Voter Verification System, which would allow the use of biometrics to verify the identity of voters, and allow the voter to see whether or not his vote is being read and recorded right by the machine; and the digital signatures, which would assure everyone that the votes from the various voting centers are being transmitted to the designated receiving station by legitimate and properly authorized senders.

    All these, plus a review of the source code prior to the actual use of the voting machine, as mandated by law and the contract’s terms of reference, could make it impossible, or at least much harder, for the cheating syndicate, of which the paid propaganda fraudsters seem to be an important part, to cook the results of the elections.

    There has always been something fishy about the biddings. There were two separate biddings: one involving the lease of 23,000 OMR/PCOS, and another involving the refurbishment of 81,000 PCOS machines. The Comelec’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) disqualified Smartmatic and IndraSistemas of Spain from bidding for the supply of 23,000 OMR/PCOS units to the Comelec. But Smartmatic appealed its disqualification, while Indra did not, so Smartmatic remained the lone bidder and won.

    As for the 81,000 old PCOS units, the Supreme Court disqualified Smartmatic from refurbishing them for P1.6 billion, because of its failure to comply with the national procurement law. Thereafter, Comelec en banc reversed the disqualification to allow Smartmatic to participate in a new bidding. But Smartmatic did not bid again for the refurbishment. It offered instead to supply 70,977 new OMR units to the Comelec. And it won handily when its rival Indra Sistemas failed to submit a responsive bid.

    Instead of bidding for the supply of the 70,977 OMR units, Indra submitted a bid for the supply of 23,000 OMR units, which had already been concluded and awarded to Smartmatic much earlier. This “unbelievable mistake” has raised suspicions that Indra’s purposely wanted to get disqualified in a simulated bidding in favor of Smartmatic.

    As its role in the last two Philippine elections came increasingly under fire, Smartmatic took a much more aggressive role in promoting its business worldwide. In November last year, it brought in as its new chairman, British Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, an international political operator who has been associated with the billionaire specutlator George Soros in supporting the “color revolutions” in the former Soviet Union and the Balkans. He came to Manila last month and is expected to be back in September.

    I have just learned from my usually reliable Palace sources that during his visit he had an extended lunch meeting with PNoy in Malacanang. He also reportedly spoke with two of PNoy’s siblings. Another meeting with the President is expected in September. In 1986, as lead international partner of Sawyer-Miller, a US consulting firm, Malloch-Brown came to Manila to work behind the scenes during Cory Aquino’s campaign against Marcos in the snap presidential election. Cory failed to win that election, but the ensuing “people power” revolution ousted Marcos and installed her as revolutionary president. Meantime, Malloch-Brown became an international player—deputy secretary general of the United Nations, UNDP administrator, development specialist of the World Bank, British minister of state for Asia, Africa and the United Nations in the Foreign Office, George Soros’s vice president at Quantum Fund and the Open Society Instituteand a promoter of Western-supported “revolutions,” and life peer of the British empire as Baron Malloch-Brown.

    Malloch-Brown’s reappearance in the Philippines at this time, when Aquino is trying to make sure that the next president would protect him from criminal prosecution and punishment for his numerous crimes, could mean some real trouble for the Filipino people. The Philippines may have become the latest political playground of the big powers, which do not want to see a truly nationalist natural-born Filipino leader emerge in a genuinely free election.

    We have so much to thank for that some of our bravest bishops and archbishops and Protestant pastors have taken the cudgels for our people, but we all need to work together to stop any anti-Filipino moves by Smartmatic and Lord Malloch-Brown.

    fstatad@gmail.com

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    6 Comments

    1. Occupy comelec! A small patriotic sacrifice to fight foreign controlled smartmatic that dictates in our election. Close by, the cathedral is there to give respite and rest during the struggle and a place to pray for the nation to survive.

    2. * Lord Malloch Brown and George Soros together formed and financed the present government of Georgia and their apparatus ran the recent catastrophic war provocation against Russia; and by the fact that,

      * All three, the British official, candidate Obama, and political operative Samantha Power, have each been purchased by billionaire speculator Soros.

      this lord or whatever he is is such a pretty sneaky dangerous dude he will plunge our poor third world nation into chaos and anarchy he should be proclaimed a “persona non grata”!

    3. Amnata Pundit on

      Cheating in the elections is what has kept the yellows in power, so the efforts to get rid of Smartmatic represents the greatest existential threat to the yellow regime, at par with the coup against Cory in 1989 which would have succeeded if the Americans had not meddled by sending in that Phantom jet to warn off the rebels. Today its getting harder and harder to defend our elections’ integrity and credibility because of Smartmatic’s obvious flaws that makes their cheating so easy to spot, so is this Lord Brown their Phantom jet? America today is in a desperate struggle to preserve its unsustainable empire. Just look around the planet and ask yourself if there is any trouble that you see where the Americans are not involved one way or another. America has gone mad and is behaving like a mortally wounded tiger, and its only a matter of time before its financial crisis where its debts are mathematically unpayable forces it to suffer a soviet-style collapse. In the meantime, this flailing wounded beast is prepared to do anything to make everybody in its orbit including us tow the line. That includes sending a Phantom jet to blow up Malacanang if that ever becomes necessary. I believe and I hope Im wrong that the the SC justices will never go all the way to kick out Smartmatic as all the possible blackmail materials against them are already well known to the Americans, thanks to the world wide spying network of the NSA. Its a strategic axiom that what you cannot attack directly, attack indirectly. Therefore the best course of action is a boycott of 2016. An anti-yellow boycott movement that can be sustained beyond 2016 is the way to go, so that when Amerika has weakened – and that day is coming – the Filipino people will be ready. I have seen the enemy and its not only yellow, its starred and striped as well.

      • The left boycotted the snap election and they were sidelined to become fence sitters looking from the outside when history passed them by. It was a strategic error that caused them their role as the vanguard of the national democratic revolution.

        What is more tragic is the tacit participation of simyon in the impending invasion of tsayna in connivance with the aremicans. It will give simyon the alibi to declare martial law and prolong his usurpation of the office while allowing the tsaynis to get our gold to split it with the aremicans.

    4. Ano nangyayari sa Cbcp?sina archbishop tagle at iba pa na maka Aquino!mukhang iniiwasan, bigkasin ang mga pinag-gagawa nila!hindi ba sila matatapang! Parang takot si Mr,tatad na batikusin ang mga humahadlang sa pagkakaisa ng simbahan!at ng Cbcp!walang mangyayari sa ginagawa ng 12 pari kung sila.-sila ay magkakasalungat!
      Mukhang tahimik si Mr.tatad na batikusin ang ginagawang pagkampi ni tagle sa gobyerno ni aAquino

    5. More than anything else, what we need to do right now is to pray incessantly for our country. Confronted by an illegitimate president who wants to make sure that he does not go to jail after his term, the intervention of a God who loves His people and provides for them is the only answer.

      We must be grateful to the bishops and archbishops and the lay men, who stood up to take the cudgels for our country. We are sure legions are praying for the downfall of this pretender president and his siblings. It is timely that such petition in the Supreme Court is filed. God is good.