Friday, February 26, 2010

“Smartmatic is conducting the Philippine Elections!”

What a blasphemous statement! How could anyone express such a preposterous thought? Since when was the Philippine sovereignty surrendered to a private foreign business corporation? Who would dare even but contemplate so big a treason? Smartmatic is conducting the May 2010 National Elections in the Philippines! Where is comelec then? What is Comelec doing? What for then is Comelec? Not Comelec but Smartmatic is the one directing and supervising the forthcoming elections? How could such a silly conclusion be possibly arrived at? What foolish arguments are there to warrant such an idiotic perception?

Smartmatic is in charge of having some 82 thousand pcos manufactured. Smartmatic is heading the testing, the demonstration and fine-tuning of the counting machines. Smartmatic specifies, chooses and purchases the ballot paper. Smartmatic is the provider of the machines for printing the election ballots. Smartmatic uses NPO for the printing of some 50 or 52 million ballots with some of its chosen people – with the collaboration of some NPO employees. Smartmatic even manufactures the needed ballot boxes. Smartmatic is in charge of forwarding the pcos, the ballots and their boxes after use, to the thousands of clustered precincts in all the nooks and corners of the Philippine archipelago. Smartmatic attends to the actual counting of the votes from the barangay to the national levels.

What is the accountability of Smartmatic in case of missing pcos, unusable ballots, dysfunctional counting machines? What is the responsibility of Smartmatics in the event of disenfranchised voters, of successful cheatings, of false vote counts? What is the culpability of Smartmatic when the transmissions of votes to the required levels of government fall short of what is necessary and/or reach but certain places or even prove futile, altered or suspect? What is the liability of Smartmatic in case of a failure of elections? And what then happens to Comelec, what is thus in store for key Comelec officials, and how does Comelec explain to the people the mismanagement of a huge amount of their hard earned money?

If there is one distinct over-all intense and extensive preoccupation about the forthcoming elections, it is the following: Upright political groups and figures, competent political scientists and trustworthy IT professionals, respected individuals in business and industry, a big number of people in different socio-economic levels – all of them have one common painful and fearful reservation about the forthcoming elections as an honest, orderly and credible political exercise. Needless to say, such a positive doubt is anything but comforting and consoling.

The Country is not exactly in the comfort and peace zone. The Filipinos by and large are mostly poor and helpless. The ruling administration has practically everything but the trust and appreciation of the people in general. And there is still this devious creeping and sinister 10 May 2010 election!

Philippines my Philippines, where goest thou?

February 26, 2010