“AES stands for Automated Elections Sabotage,” declared Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan, referring to the technical foul-ups during COMELEC tests of the PCOS machines a mere four days before elections.
“It is beyond incompetence. It cannot even be described as simple failure of technology. After COMELEC’s super-confident proclamation that it was all systems go for the first automated election system, the shocking discovery that the machines were not working as expected, has left the public aghast and suspicious that there is more to this development than mere mechanical aberrations.
“The COMELEC is clearly committing an unforgivable crime against the Filipino people with the imminent failure of the automated election system. Smartmatic is in collusion with COMELEC and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to pave the way for a massive failure of elections,” said Ilagan.
The progressive legislator added that blocking the peaceful and credible holding of elections has always been part of Macapagal-Arroyo’s grand scheme in her bid to stay in power after her term ends in June 30.
Ilagan warns that the Filipinos will not take this disenfranchisement sitting down. “The people will have no more of the abomination in Malacañang. Filipino voters are convinced that this sabotage of a nation-wide democratic exercise will mobilize people to take to the streets should their right to vote be violated.”
Ilagan calls on all voters, men and women, to ensure that clean, honest and credible elections shall push through. “The people’s vigilance is the only way to triumph over any evil machinations of the Arroyo regime. On May 10, we must cast and protect our votes and rise in protest should our will be undermined and violated.”
On May 8, Gabriela Women’s Party and GABRIELA will lead the women’s action in front of COMELEC to call for clean, honest and credible elections. The women’s groups will also set up protest centers all over the country where disgruntled voters can mass up should the May 10 elections fail.