Saturday, January 30, 2010

COMELEC is confident that the 2010 Poll Automation will pushed through

January 29, 2010, Dolphy Theater, ABS-CBN Compound, Quezon City – Commission on Election (COMELEC) and stakeholders takes the stage for the ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs with DZMM officially launch its first E-Leksyon: The 2010 Voters Empowerment Series. Present are COMELEC Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, COMELEC Spokeperson James Jimenez, International Sales Director for Smartmatic Cesar Flores and former COMELEC Chairman Christian Monsod. The objective of the forum is to answer all the issues and concerns concerning the first poll automation that will happen on May 10, 2010.

In line with the several adjustments on the schedules on poll automation calendar which includes the major events like the delivery of machines, printing of ballots, teachers training and the deployment gives the perception to all that 2010 Election is not ready with the new system. With the recent incident in Taguig where testing of the machine happens, only 40 % of the ballots were read and transmitted, Flores mention that it is part of the process where they will check how machines work and from there they will work on improvement. Along with the improvement that Flores mention is the satellites, additional equipment that will help to transmit the data aside from the usual telecommunication networks which uses GPRS for the transmission. He also clarified that the satellites they’re producing is included on the 7.2 Billion budget. Flores strongly affirms that all the machines will be delivered on mid- April and will be deployed on the areas where election happens and will be tested and sealed three days before the actual election

Commissioner Larrazabal mention that the teachers’ education will happen soon and the poll automation will help to lessen the work of the teachers compares the manual election before. He also assure that the teachers will be compensated well in terms of the role they will be playing this election. In line with the doubts on the poll automation if in case that the machines broke down, Larrazabal affirms that manual counting will be the next step, and there will be no failure of election. He also mention that the role of poll watchers will not be obsolete with the new system he encourage all the political party to send their representative to monitor the printing, demos and event the checking of the names of their candidates on the ballots to assure transparency and credibility of the election.

In line with the security during the election, Military spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. says that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is helping the Philippine National Police (PNP) and COMELEC on the implementation of total gun ban in the country as of January 29, there are already 508 arrested from bringing guns and 700 plus confiscated gun replicas. Brawner also mention that they will assist politicians who will ask for security help which serve as their body guards during the campaign and election, but it doesn’t mean that this bodyguards that they will deploy will have biases on the officials they are assigned to. They are just doing their work and that is by giving them security Brawner affirms to the public. He also says incase of failure of election that the military’s role is to secure and maintain peace and order in the public and will not take part on any military upheaval.

The new system will eliminates cheating including the cases of flying voter, Jimenez asserts during the last part of the forum. He also mention that COMELEC has guidelines and contingency plans incase there will be problem during the election. In case the machine broke down they will result to manual counting and that is why he never sees any possible of failure of election.

The machine according to Flores it is 95% safe from any environmental condition and ballots are vacuumed sealed to avoid any tampering or any damage man made or by nature. He also mention that the machine can read 30% of the shading or marks on the ballot, but he wanted to encourage the voters to fully shade the oval on the ballot to avoid any questions on the voter’s will and choice.

The question on whether the poll automation will be fully implemented and succeed this election lies on what will happen on the 2010 election. Issues arises and concerns increases in line with May 10 event and I firmly says that I am one of those who have questions concerning the poll automation, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t like the new system. I like the system it will eliminates cheating and the likes of hello Garci, which we all know the issue dies on natural death. The reason why that concerns and issues is there is that we the voters wanted to polish the system properly and we wanted to eliminate errors which we don’t like to encounter on day of election. The forum was also attended by presidential candidate Eddie Villanueva, senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Automated Election System (AES) Watch Convenor Alfredo Pascual, UP Collage of Law Professor Raul Pangalangan, Information Technology Expert Drex Luggui, Jaime Garchitorena with Youth Vote Philippines, Antonio Tinio with Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and other sectors.

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2 comments: said...

Great coverage Flowell. Yes, we should be supportive while being cautious on the upcoming automated election. Give all the support necessary to make it work as smoothly as possible and let back-up contingencies take effect if things fail. Media has to be cautious in reporting as well, not to overhype, during such season as any perceived unrecoverable breakdown may result to chaos.

earthlingorgeous said...

Haaay let's just wish na yung totoong winner ang magwiwin.... hay why do I have this nagging feeling that this election is just as dirty as the rest

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