March 23, 2010 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL with reports from the wires
BAGUIO CITY — Makabayan coalition senatorial bet and Nacionalista Party guest candidate Satur Ocampo said it would be best for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to tell the truth so that contingency measures can be prepared for the elections.
Ocampo called on the Comelec to declare whether it can still push through with the full poll automation or fall back on the old fashioned way. He said the Comelec should admit its limitations amid notable reports of system failures and delays in the preparations.
“Otherwise, we will all be up the creek without a single paddle”, Ocampo said.
Ocampo criticized the Comelec’s attempt to assure the public of its preparations on the poll automation as not convincing. Ocampo revealed that the commission is already days past its self-imposed deadline to announce whether they are ready for full automation or go partial come May elections.
Ocampo said the Comelec has failed to assure that the 50 million ballots will be ready by April 25. He said the public is still very much at a loss regarding how automation works given the very limited information campaign regarding the process.
“The issues of ballot security are also unresolved as well the security of the transmission of results from the precincts. There are a thousand and one things that could go wrong, and the Comelec should acknowledge and prepare for this. It would be best for the Comelec to conduct an immediate and comprehensive assessment of the preparations for the polls and determine if we’re really ready for automation or not,” said Ocampo.
According to Ocampo, the Center for Peoples Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg) has found 30 areas that will affect the success of the poll automation. He said there are many areas that are problematic like the lack of a source code or software preview, passwords to be generated by Smartmatic and Comelec instead of the Board of Election Inspectors, lack of public counting and the absence of proper measures and procedures that will look into the election protests.
Ocampo stressed that it is not a matter of pointing fingers and exchanging blames. He said it is merely the acceptance of limitations.
“If it is not the right time for automation, then we should not force it. The repercussions are too serious and we risk failure of the polls. The Comelec should weigh in all these considerations,” Ocampo ended. # nordis.net