CALLING for a return to manual vote counting does not make one anti-automation. Yet lawyer Emil Marañon, erstwhile chief of staff to the late former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brilliantes, calls Gus Lagman, a leading proponent of the hybrid election system (HES) and respected pillar of the information technology industry, just that ( Lagman is simply advocating for the correct and appropriate way of automating the electoral process.

Contrary to Marañon’s claim, the proposed HES was never premised on the assumption that the results of the precinct count optical scanner (PCOS) or vote counting machines (VCMs) were fraudulent. Rather, the call to go back to manual vote counting is a call for transparency of the electoral process which is, after all, rooted in the people’s right to know.

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