May 4, 2010
Katribu partylist is alarmed over reports that the machine count did not tally with the actual manual count and that votes for certain candidates were not counted, especially those aligned with the Nacionalista Party (NP), were not counted based on the result of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) testing recently conducted.
This technical setback appears to be more of a ploy than a mere lapse in foresight. The current situation appears to be chaotic but the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is just making palliative reactions. AES problems should have been addressed early on as this and other problems have already been raised by various sectors earlier but Comelec just sat on the problem and treated such with no importance. Specific requests were on review of the technology and the source code for AES.
We fear that this and other lapses, which have suddenly emerged a few days to election, are signposts on the road to chaos and massive fraud. Now, only six days before election wherein all preparations should have been set ready for May 10, Comelec holds the delivery of machines in the Cordillera and parts of CL and pulls out machines delivered in Negros. These machines have not yet been tested on the ground.
Those tested revealed a problem that we all have anticipated: unreliable PCOS. Why are the machines not reading/counting the votes for other candidates, specifically from NP? We now witness a portent of the widespread high-tech electoral fraud. Are the machines programmed to give zero votes for progressive candidates?
We demand that Comelec explain this and address this problem as fast as we ask for transparency on the real situation on the ground.
May 10 shall be a day of more chaos and confusion – where the PCOS machines as we now see shall not work as sworn by Comelec. Needless to say that we also anticipate the scenario where voters will be searching for their names in collapsed precincts; voters not knowing how to vote; results questionable; and canvassing and transmission delays, not to mention possible absence of signal and electricity.
Disenfranchisement of voters is not far-fetched, especially in indigenous peoples’ territories where we have anticipated technical problems to occur.
We hold Comelec accountable on its failure to ensure that we have an orderly election. These point to incompetence and the failure of Comelec to perform its responsibilities.
We fear that if these were not addressed properly, these would lead to a failure of elections, the worst scenario that is not impossible.
We do not want a ‘hold-over’ government where Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo extends her term. We want her out now.
We may revert to manual counting, if the parallel automated and manual counting is not feasible. (Bulatlat.com)