Image via WikipediaThe Comelec has just released a resolution covering the Random Manual Audit as provided for by our Automated Election Code! After reading the news report on this, I was truly, hysterically angry (fuming mad) because I had hoped that after junking the petition for a parallel manual count, Comelec would at least allow the RMA to serve as check and balance for the automated election process! As it is now, the RMA is being reduced to a mere sideshow of the whole electoral process! Whatever discrepancy the RMA may unearth, as per the Comelec resolution, it will not affect the proclamation of winners based on the automated count!
The Random Manual Count was our last hope for transparency in this electoral process! As it is now, we are totally at the mercy of the source code fed into the PCOS machines...the future of our country is now totally at the hands of Comelec whose commissioners are all Arroyo appointees, and Smartmatic which had a tainted history of electoral malpractice in the US and other Latin countries! We are now left with no recourse whatsoever to question any discrepancy or anomaly in the conduct of the election process!
Simply put, the Comelec and Smartmatic has total control of our election process so much so that they can manipulate the results of the elections without us knowing it! It is a known fact that a simple script or command hidden in the source code could alter election results completely undetected!
We must remember that Comelec refused to release the source code for review by our own IT experts! Instead, what they did to comply with provisions of the election code was to conduct a run through presentation of the review made by a Comelec designated foreign IT review company - which in effect will not really show whether the source code have other malicious code embedded on it. On top of this, there is that lingering doubt that the source code submitted by Comelec for review to the foreign IT company may not be the same source code contained in the memory cards that will actually be inserted into the PCOS machines on election day! We should not forget the fact that despite our own IT experts' objections, Comelec and Smartmatic refused to have the source code (the application that will do the actual counting of the votes) incorporated into the PCOS machines - deciding instead to have it in portable memory cards to be inserted on election day. And who holds on to these memory cards but Comelec and Smartmatic only. They will be given to the election officers only on election day! Again, the window of opportunity for committing fraud by Comelec and Smartmatic is simply huge.
We haven't forgotten the 'Garci Scandal' of 2004 where the country was robbed of its true mandate! Was it not a Comelec commissioner who perpetrated the rigging of that particular election process together with his other cohorts within the Comelec itself?
We haven't forgotten the undue haste and the questionable circumstances behind the awarding of the automation contract to Smartmatic! We haven't forgotten the many other anomalous and overpriced contracts Comelec has awarded to favored suppliers. We haven't forgotten that Comelec has totally forgotten that it is the interest of the Filipino nation they should protect and not those of the power that holds them in sway!
Today, instead of proving their impartiality and honesty to the people, Comelec has remained naive to the nation's clamor for transparency in the forthcoming May, 2010. They have instead systematically put in place a 'cheating machine' free from the prying eyes of foreign and local election watchdogs.
We should not forget that at the onset, both the Comelec and Smartmatic initially presented a PCOS machine complete with all the security features and promises total transparency. In the end, most of the security features they showed in the early product evaluations were either discarded or disabled leaving transparency totally nil. In short, they have short changed us! It's just like they presented to us a Mercedes Benz at the showroom but delivered a 'lemon' in the end!
Let me spell out the horrible scenario of this looming large scale electoral fraud.
Obviously, Comelec will again be in the forefront of this massive electoral fraud. They will alter the election results favoring their preferred candidates either through a malicious code embedded in the memory chips or altering the results while data is being transmitted to the Comelec headquarters.
With this automated process, we won't be able to verify whether the actual count transmitted is real or not!
The Random Manual Audit will be conducted much later after the ballot boxes have been delivered to the PICC. Again here, ballot substitution may occur to make sure the manual audit will jive with the figures generated by the PCOS machines!
According to the Comelec resolution, discrepancies between the manual audit and computerized results will only be noted - with only a report to be given to all concerned parties. In the meantime, winners would have been proclaimed leaving any aggrieved candidate no recourse but to file an electoral protest which we know will take ages to resolve as we have seen in the past! In other words, the whole electoral process will be reduced into a sham with the Comelec, in cahoots with Smartmatic, and under the dictates of the power that hold sway on them, deciding who wins and who lose!
In the past, all (and I really mean all) electoral fraud were committed by or in connivance with Comelec officials. We can not now help but think that with all these recent developments and pronouncements by Comelec, the Filipinos spent billions of pesos merely to systematize and automate electoral fraud! We can not help but think that the coming May, 2010 elections will again be a sham!
Transparency is totally absent!
One thing is sure though, and let this be a grave reminder to Comelec and the powers who hold sway on them... They better make sure the election results are truthful and credible or else they will face the wrath of a nation that has long suffered the abuse and corruption of the powers that be!
If they think they can forever perpetrate the culture of impunity...then, they will have the surprise of their lives!
The end result could be worse than the current Thailand experience, - and Big Daddy Richard will be in the forefront of this!