Tuesday, February 16, 2010

“Almost Perfect”

According to media reports, such was the rating by a COMELEC official in conjunction with the trial performance of the by now infamous election machines. “Almost perfect!” - this was said to be the triumphant hurrah of the said official on the occasion of a dry-run of some of them, here and there. At times, some counting machines did not even count. On occasions, a number of them jammed. There were those that were everything else except what they were supposed to be. Conclusion: The machines were “almost perfect”. Translation: No less than 82,000 “almost perfect” machines for the May 2010 automated national elections!

It might be good to call to mind the following elementary rational conclusions: Water that is a little dirty, is definitely dirty – not clean. A glass that is a little broken, is certainly broken – not whole. And with no offence of any kind meant, it is well said that there is absolutely no such woman who is but a “little pregnant”. This simply means that the lady concerned is pregnant, period.

In other words, when automated election machines precisely designed for easy, fast and precise counting of votes, are “almost perfect”, they are actually imperfect for their purpose, for one reason or another. Add hereto the following likewise “imperfecting” factors, and the forthcoming expensive, complicated and even frightening electoral exercise through the use of enigmatic PCOS, could be anything but what they should be, viz., honest, orderly, peaceful – and credible:

The many hazards faced by the forwarders of the thousands of extra-delicate machines to likewise thousands of the far flung areas by bumpy ground, turbulent sea and/or air. The not only extra-long but also extra-delicate election ballots that must remain clean and unwrinkled. The threatening presence of thousand of infamous jammers for timely use during the transmission of ballot counts. The technical drawback of deputized precinct officials – not to mention the uncertainly of needed thousands of ready and available professional service technicians all over the land. The standing presence of private armies vis-à-vis the matter of fact employ of guns, goons and gold. The reality of well padded registration of voters. The clustering of five or more barangay voters in but one precinct – making them altogether about thousand depending on but one supposedly ever-functional counting machines.

All the above discomforting factors plus the “almost perfect” counting machines make the forthcoming national elections anything but comforting and reassuring. Honest, could it be otherwise?!

February 18, 2010