First was the determined and assiduous resolve to finally have a national fully automated 2010 elections. There were many representations to the contrary basically in terms of its credibility plus many reservations as well in conjunction with its viability. Initially, it was full automation down to the barangay level all over the land – instead of just some kind of a vague “hybrid” of one kind or another. Then it was automated election in but precinct groupings or something the like. Thereafter, it was conceded that it could the usual manual election in the local level and automated or computerized one in the national level. And so on and so forth!
Then there was the big question of what voting machines would be used, how would they function, what reputable companies or dependable corporations would provide then. Business moguls came in, brought their respective sample computerized reading and counting machines, and submitted as well as their individual formidable pricing – for such a kind and such number of machines, with these and those features. Needless to say, all of the self-presented suppliers swore to high heavens that their computer machines for voting intent and purposes were all guaranteed as infallibly functional, i.e., beyond undoing by any sage – forgetting the on the ground reality that what one man does, can be undone by another.
Afterwards, there came the testing by big executives in government, by known legislators, by acknowledgement computer technicians, by experts in the academe – inclusive of many known individuals who practically knew nothing about computers except how impressive they look, how many keys they have and possibly how they work in the outside. Eventually, one foreign plus one local providers were chosen – preceded by many discussions and followed with many questions. Even the agreement or contract already entered into, was threatened by a pull-out of one, and was even questioned before the Supreme Court.
And as to pricing in terms of a total whopping 7.3 billion pesos, there was even the rumor that one of the two companies awarded the contract, seemed unable to get enough capital or something the like. It was even said in whispers that someone high and mighty in the corridors of government liked and tried to put his hand in the cake for one reason or another. Whether such an external and questionable intervention succeeded or not, no one is talking – as a matter of course or else…
Now, all the above complicated talks finished, complex deal made and complicated agreement signed and sealed, lo and behold here comes the caper: Surprise, surprise! The Country has no electricity by 2010! The phenomenon started in 2008, pushed through to 2009, and nothing in 2010! How surprising! How strange! How convenient!
Sept. 23, 2009