“The Comelec does not know how to count.”
– Speaker Ramon “Monching” Mitra, Jr. House of Representatives, Congress of the Philippines
This short and crisp statement of House Speaker Monching Mitra was highly descriptive of the Marcos, Cory, and GMA presidential elections. It is a very accurate description of the Comelec then. Now, the Comelec simply does not know how to conduct clean, honest and orderly elections.
Comelec betrayal of the people
THE MARCOS REGIME: The Comelec is notorious for its betrayal of democracy and the democratic electoral process. Let us start with the snap elections of 1986. As demonstrated in the debates in Parliament (Batasang Pambansa), the conduct by the Comelec of the 1986 snap elections was, to a great extent, peaceful and orderly. But so were the dishonesty and dirty elections also peaceful and orderly – the cheating by the agencies and individuals that the Comelec was supposed to watch and supervise. I should know, I handled the Opposition objections to the Certificates of Canvass (COC) on the floor of the Parliament, single-handedly and virtually alone. I had a ringside look at the evidence – holding in my hands the COCs, most of which had tell-tale marks of fraud and fraudulent manipulation. I had copies of affidavits showing that the COCs did not truly reflect the election returns which are the documents from the election precincts.
When I personally confronted then Minister of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile on the padding by about a hundred thousand votes for Marcos in Isabela, he said that he had nothing to do with it and added that the boys of then Governor Faustino Dy of Isabela may possibly be the culprits. Similarly, the votes of Marcos for Laoag, Ilocos Norte were tabulated twice. The COC for the province of Tawi-Tawi reached the Batasan while the canvassing of the results was still going on in the provincial capitol of the Province of Tawi-Tawi. Even in Misamis Oriental where my late younger brother, lawyer Guerrero A. Adaza, was a member of the Provincial Board of Canvassers, the Comelec functionaries, with the clear consent of the Comelec officials, doctored the results of the elections on the presidential level.
The Opposition, propelled by the displaced oligarchs during the Marcos regime, manipulated the crowds in Metro Manila, frustrating the operations of the Comelec and the Batasan Kilusan Bagong Lipunan (KBL) majority from enjoying another six years of President Marcos.
THE CORY AQUINO REGIME: We thought that with the installation of Cory Aquino as president, the people of the country would be experiencing a new dawn of justice and freedom, and clean and honest elections, blossoming into a new day for democracy in the country. Nothing of the kind happened! Instead, it was a blatant repeat of the past. The greatest shades of dagdag bawas (add and subtract) came into view. According to a well-registered report from then Vice-President Salvador “Doy” Laurel, President Cory met with the members of the Comelec with instructions to give her administration a majority in the senatorial elections, with specific emphasis that former Governor Rene Espina and this writer should not be allowed to win.
Consistent with this order, the election results in each congressional district was doctored in favor of the many non-entities of the Cory senatorial slate. As reported to then removed Defense Minister Enrile, the Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD) ticket won a majority in the Senate of twenty-four. But the computers of Corazon Aquino and the Comelec anointed twenty-two computerized senators of the Aquino ticket and proclaimed only two GAD candidates – Joseph Estrada and Johnny Ponce Enrile.
In the 1992 presidential elections, the Cory Aquino Comelec orchestrated an election that led Congress to proclaim the non-winner and cheated now Senator Miriam Santiago of a well-deserved victory.
THE GLORIA ARROYO REGIME: It was bad enough that the Gloria Arroyo administration stole the dreams of those who installed her President and turned it into a nightmare. The Gloria first administration was so notorious for graft and corruption that she would have certainly lost the presidential elections of 2004. Well, the Comelec boys of Gloria Arroyo stole the elections by doctoring the results in Mindanao. This is well documented, not only by the infamous Garci tapes, but by testimonies relating to the notorious cheating in Mindanao by the Gloria boys, later cemented by an oblique mea culpa by Gloria Arroyo herself, well covered by tri-media.
Well, the so-called popularity of Cory Aquino served as an effective cover-up for the disjointed victory of the Noybi (Noynoy Binay subterranean combination) combine. The Comelec, without the authority of Congress, violated blatantly the Automated Election Law (AEL) on the most vital provisions that led to the election of the Noybi combination. First, the law required that there should be a source code which should be deposited with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and accessible to concerned parties to verify. Contrary to the assurance of SMARTMATIC-ITIM, boldly claimed by a supposed Venezuelan expert that there was a source code, there was no such thing as a source code because SMARTMATIC filed a case in the USA against Dominion, the Company that produces the source code, did not deliver it to SMARTMATIC for use in the elections in the Philippines in 2010.
Second, the law required a previous experience of the winning bidder in the use of the PCOS machines in a previous election. The winning bidder was a Philippine corporation by the name of SMARMATIC-ITIM. It had no prior experience whatsoever to qualify as the winning bidder under the parameters defined by the AEL. Third, the Comelec removed or did not provide UV lights that could detect unauthorized or fake ballots that are inserted into the machines which were required by the law as part of the security measures.
Fourth, Comelec allowed the use of an ordinary ballot which did have the prescribed water marks or similar marks which could be detected by the use of UV lights, resulting to any fake or unauthorized ballots being inserted into the machine.
Fifth, the printing of pre-marked ballots for certain candidate/s for a particular office which made so many ballots for a particular candidate/s not being registered because if the there are two names marked in the ballot, the machine will reject the vote for that office/s.
This is exactly the case of Mar Roxas when he ran for Vice President. About two million votes for Roxas, so his spinners claim, were considered stray because they were pre-marked for another candidate/s. If the ballots were not pre-marked, obviously Roxas would have been elected Vice President, not Binay.
Sixth, there is no vote counter in the machine thus the un-cast votes can be cast by the Comelec personnel, padding the votes of the favored candidates.
Seventh, CF cards can be replaced by pre-programmed CF cards during the voting, as it had happened in many places during the 2010 and 2013 elections.
Eighth, the machines are so programmed that any false report on the results of the voting that is transmitted earlier would reject the later genuine report of the true results of the voting.
Ninth, it is not true that the PCOS machine cannot be hacked. It can be as shown during the hearing of the Locsin Committee of the House of Representatives with the use of a laptop that the machine could be hacked.
I did not manufacture these objections from out of nowhere. I was a lawyer of one of the senatorial candidates in the 2010 elections. I represented a client in the Locsin committee in the 2010 elections. Together with tri-media journalist Herman Laurel, we filed a case with the Supreme Court seeking to invalidate the 2010 elections on constitutional and legal grounds. The case is still pending with the Supreme Court. I consulted a lot of IT experts on these matters. I monitored the elections of 2010 and 2013. I participated in the 2013 elections. I know what I’m writing about.
No clean and honest elections
In the light of these mechanical and human defects, there is no way this present Comelec, as in the past, can give this country a clean and honest elections. The kind of clean elections that the Comelec can give us is as clean as a septic tank and a stinking garbage dump. Honest elections? In this country, it runs against the grain of previous and present human experience, both of the past and of the present.
The past we have delineated in the preceding paragraphs. What about the present? The impediments are overwhelming. First, it is a majority view among the knowledgeable circles that the crooks and manipulators of the elections are still in the Comelec, way down the line. Second, some IT experts articulate that out of eighty thousand PCOS machines that will be used during the 2016 elections, it will only take two hundred fifty PCOS machines to elect the President of the Philippines.
Third, the seller of the election results are already doing their business as shown by the fact that some people are moving around to include some names in the ballot for a handsome consideration.
Fourth, the present Comelec is so fractured that what the left hand is doing is a total stranger to what the right hand is doing. Imagine, not even the Chairman knows that there is an en banc resolution allowing Commissioner Rowena Guanzon who was former city mayor in a Negros Occidental City to submit a comment for the Comelec in the Senator Poe case in the Supreme Court. This is according to Guanzon but the Chairman knew nothing about the so-called resolution. Both of them cannot be telling the truth. It could only be one of them. Whoever is the liar should commit hara-kiri or be fired.
Fifth, SMARTMATIC, the culprit that gave this country rotten and possibly one of the dirtiest elections in the history of this country, in conspiracy with the Comelec, some members of media and some survey groups, are still around doing their monkey business. The country is running low of real monkeys but the figurative monkeys appear to be here to stay, hopefully not forever.
It takes some kind of insanity, stupidity or insoluble ignorance to conclude that the Comelec can give this country – clean and honest elections!