If I wanted to rig the 2016 elections …


IF I wanted to rig the 2016 national and local elections (NLE), here’s a list of what I would do:

1. First and most important, I would recommend to the appointing powers (assuming I have a strong influence on this individual or group), candidates for Comelec Chairman and Commissioners who would follow my bidding. Corrupt election lawyers would be good candidates. While I personally know some who are honest, there are quite a few who are known experts in election cheating and who, at the right price, would easily agree to conspire with me. I have personally heard one say that they could open ballot boxes without breaking their seals. I can only conclude that he had been involved in that dishonest practice.

I would not choose honest IT and management practitioners who would recommend good systems with proper controls. With them around, it would be next to impossible for me to tamper with the results of elections. Also, they would recommend systems that are so inexpensive that there won’t be enough money to play around with (that is, after the money passes through our pockets).

2. For the automation of elections, I would choose a non-transparent precinct-counting technology, like Direct Recording Electronic (DRE), Optical Mark Recognition (OMR), or some similar systems. As such, it would be difficult to trace machine-embedded cheating mechanisms. In addition, the protest process would be so weakened that there will be very few of them.

3. I would look for a vendor who would be willing to “play ball” with me. I would commit a sure win for them, come bidding time. If I could, I’d also get “my” Comelec Commissioners to award to them contracts on a negotiated basis. It should not be difficult to find such a vendor; the Internet has a wealth of information on the bad eggs of election automation.

4. I would instruct “my” Commissioners to rig the bidding so that my chosen vendor would win, no matter what. Being lawyers, they would take care of looking for legal angles and justification, lame as they might be, so there’s a semblance of fairness in the bidding process.

5. I would tell “my” Commissioners not to worry about violating laws and even their own bidding rules. Election advocates will complain, but they should just be ignored.

6. I would instruct my chosen vendor to rig the computer programs to favor certain candidates – which means rigging both the precinct-counting machines and the Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS).

7. I would not bother hiring outside service providers to manage the project as doing so would only make my control of the operation more difficult.

8. In order that the cheating mechanisms in the computer programs would not be discovered, I would look for ways by which review of the source code by political parties and groups would not happen. Allowing it would only open the risk that the embedded cheating mechanisms would be discovered.

9. I would ignore the legal requirement for digital signatures to make the transmissions easy to manipulate.

10. I would tell the machine vendor not to provide the complete Election Returns (ER) data and the canvassing data in Comelec’s public website so no one can check if the consolidation and canvassing of the results are accurate; we could pass on the blame to the telecommunications companies for the incomplete data.

11. To make sure protests will not prove anything fishy, I would cause the printing of additional ballots, even after the elections, so that we could replace the contents of the ballot boxes to match the machine-printed and “doctored” results.

12. If some individuals or groups try to block my plans, I would instruct Comelec to call them “election saboteurs”, “trouble-makers”, or “attention-getters.”

13. I would also look for “envelopmental” journalists who will write articles attacking and discrediting those “trouble-makers”.

14. I would try to influence some legislators to become “mouth-pieces” of the Comelec and its machine vendor.

15. If I had any influence in the Supreme Court, I would make it known to the justices that there are no alternatives to the Comelec-chosen machine and that for the sake of our elections, the Court should support the decisions of the Comelec.


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  1. You don;t have to do it Gus. Those who did it twice before will do it again. The culture of impunity lives on. What the mother restored, the son keeps alive. Oligarchy.

  2. mr. lagman, your 15 points already happened in the 2010 and 2013 elections. you should have a no. 16: ” I would consult the CIA and the U.S. State Department who are their selected candidates.”

    thank you very much mr. lagman. eventhough you are a voice in the wilderness, still i admire your sincerity and concern for the ordinary filipinos. may your tribe increase!

  3. Gus you forgot to include to surreptitiously push for (using a coopted NGO election watchdog kuno and a govt agency which is clueless in the science of statistics) a Random Manual Audit that is NOT RANDOM (and sufficient in number of sample to produce defensible results) in choosing the audit units (the clustered precincts that will be audited) and not an AUDIT in the real sense for it violates all the accepted preceptsa of a true and independent audit. So what remains ? A MANUAL exercise in futility for it cannot prove with absolute credibility the actual accuracy of the PCOS counts.

  4. Gus, Be careful. The person or persons who dreamed up the plan you put down on paper may sue you for stealing his idea. Maybe the whole LP will challenge you. Ha!

    • I think the only issue to resolve is whether the digital signatures and other features required by law were complied with. If not, Isn’t such omission enough to invalidate the whole process?

  5. What you have printed is already happening Sir Gus. By March 31, 2015 the complete cast of new Abalos/Brillantes clones will be appointed as Comelec Commissioners so with the intimidated Supreme Court.

  6. This is not a new system in the Philippines election processes. This is the culture of the Filipino politicians supported by the uncaring and irresponsible majority of voters.

    Perhaps this list is dwarfed by what actually the government and politicians have already in place and just being activated during elections.

    The saddest of all is that there seems to have no serious intentions to rectify this culture in the Philippines horizon.

  7. The 15 points are what happened in the election of 2010, where PNoy “overwhelmingly” won and in the 2013 election when several nobodies and tradpols won, like Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Bam Aquino, Cynthia Villar, Trillanes, Cayetano, and the rest of them won. But these personalities in the Comelec with their Smartmatic partnrs are so shameless to lead the rigged elections.

  8. Mr. Lagman is correct. The sitting administration will definitely win the 2016 elections. Mr Binay is wrong to presume that he will win because of his persistent high survey ratings. The PCOS machines will determine and mandate the winners, which of course is Mr. Roxas and his colleagues. Let’s accept it, President Aquino did not win the last election via the Filipino votes; it was the Smartmatic and the PCOS machines that landed him in Malacanang. No amount of protests will change the course of the coming election; it is the “rich” people who determine the fate of the Philippines just because they are rich and powerful. The rich cuddle the rich because they have to support someone who will protect them which in this case is Mr. B. S. Aquino and eventually Mr. Roxas in the 2016 elections. The PCOS machines are a joke. Even the US do not use this stupid system which even my five year old grandson can tamper with; you do not even have to hack it. The PCOS machines are the ultimate INSULT and HUMILIATION bestowed upon the Filipino people by the rich and powerful just to perpetuate them selves in power and wallowing in their haciendas. The demolition job of the three musketeers (Trillanes, Cayetano and Pimentel) is just a smokescreen and mind conditioning ploy of the present administration. Whether they succeed in putting the performance rating of Mr. Binay down is immaterial, what they will accomplish is brainwashing the people’s mind of lies against Mr. Binay. The rest will be history.

    • jec negrete, sad to say i think you are right in saying that the magical hocos pcos machines would make whoever boy sisi’s candidate wins. the survey firms of boy sisi’s relatives are now in the massaging of the survey results showing the rise of ratings of boy sisi’s potential bets, boy pickup and the pakipot na si grace llamanzares while biNOY’s ratings decreases slightly but would not get back to his previous high ratings. it is hard to do magic with hocos pcos if the survey ratings would not support the result ot the magic.

  9. What happened to the much talked about debate between Mr. Gus Lagman and the Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes? Another “joke only” or Zarzuela? Has this been scuttled? Who did a Binay and backed out? After all, we were very eagerly awaiting it. We thought all our suspicions, fears and doubts about SMARTMATIC and those much vaunted PICOS MACHINES would either be finally confirmed or refuted.and dismissed. With the National elections not far off, and in the interest of transparency and to put to rest public anxiety, lets get it done. How about it, any sponsors?