Manual voting and counting: The remedy PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 March 2016 14:03

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato


The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday denied with finality an appeal of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that the tribunal reconsider its decision, as it did not waiver in its ruling on the issuance of printed receipts to voters as it

Again it was a 13-0 unanimous vote after hearing oral arguments from opposing parties for three hours.

The missing two votes out of the 15-member chamber are those of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, are both on leave.

Solicitor- General Florin Hilbay represented the Comelec during the oral arguments.

Former senator Richard Gordon, and a returning candidate, the petitioner in the case, maintained that the Comelec should activate the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) in compliance with the Automated Election law (AEL)  that he had authored.

The AEL put in place several safeguards to ensure the sanctity of the ballot. Among these safeguards is the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

It consists of physical paper records of voter ballots as voters cast them electronically.

And the voter-verified part refers to the voter being given the opportunity to verify that the choices indicated on the paper records correspond to the choices that the voter has made in casting the ballot.

* * * *

Ex-Sen. Kit Tatad, however, sees the Supreme Court ruling on the Gordon petition in a different light. The real problem, he says, is not that the May 9, 2016 elections may be postponed to an impossible date or that we may be compelled to shift from electronic to manual voting,

Rather, he claims, it is that the voters may finally reject the elections as a total irrelevancy because of unresolved constitutional issues and because total chaos would have intervened.

It is a formula for instability, he continued, and a confession of total incompetence. It is totally unworthy of Comelec Chair Andres Bautista to suggest that the only way to hold the elections as scheduled is to allow the Comelec’s gross violation of the Automated Election Law to continue, and the VCM, which he so rightly described, is the new name for the discredited Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine, to be used without the safety and security features and accuracy mechanisms, which were illegally removed during the 2010 and 2013 elections.

SS has described the VCM as the same PCOS dog differently collared.

And Tatad was virtually saying, shame on them.

We repeat, to dispel any thought s of a rigged election as in the two previous times, most particularly in 2013, the remedy is  manual voting and counting.

It was only yesterday that we wrote, per observations of electronics experts, that even with the safety features in place, there are still some modes by which the results van be altered.

Manual voting and counting, go go go!

* * * *

Columnist Rigoberto Tiglao has accused the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDF), one of the biggest broadsheets, of being a tool of President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd to undertake such a brazen demolition job, the likes of which have never before seen in local journalism, against a presidential candidate, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

He expressed astonishment at how Aquino lured PDI to publish alleged “canards”, such as to claim that Binay got “billions” from infrastructure projects - coming out as it did two months before elections - for such allegations would be so difficult to debunk at the same speed as it came out.

“I have never seen such a ruthless, and very obvious hatchet job against a political figure during an electoral cycle. Even Marcos’ three newspapers during the dictatorship (The Daily Express, Manila Bulletin, and the Journal) never undertook a vicious vilification campaign against candidate Corazon Aquino in the months before the February 7, 1986 presidential elections,” Tiglao rued, adding, PDI’s late editor-in-chief Letty Magsanoc, one of the most distinguished journalists of our time who made the newspaper her life’s work, must be turning in her grave at the viciousness and crudeness of this demolition job.

He then points out to what he said is an indisputable fact that proves it is a demolition job: “The allegation had been made a year ago, yet again today is claimed as something new,”

He claims, there is no other reason but obviously to throw dirt at the target candidate during this crucial time.

He concluded, “The PDI’s screaming banner headline on March 15, 2016, “AMLC: Binay got billions.” The author Nancy Carvajal, however, noted that it wasn’t a recently made report, but that the “AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) finding was contained in a report that was the result of an investigation ordered by the Office of the Ombudsman in November 2014.(Emphasis supplied).”

* * * *

After coming from a sortie in some parts of Mindanao, to include Gensan and Pagadian Cities, Vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday started his 4-day sortie in vote-rich Cebu province by meeting 85 percent (69 out of 80) of the city’s barangay chairmen at the Cebu Country Club.

Cebu province has 1.8 million registered voters of which 630,000 are from the city.

Marcos is still statistically tied with frontrunner and fellow Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero while administration candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo is catching up.

He was later welcomed by Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) president Philip Zatra when he had a meeting with the barangay chairmen.

In meeting the press, he displayed the virtue of humility, “I am running scared. I am never confident. I am not sure if I will win,”  And added, “To be presumptuous is the start of your downfall.”

With barely seven weeks before Election Day, Marcos said he aims to reach out to the people and continue explaining his message of unity. (TMT-sourced)

* * * *

Teddy Atlas, a veteran and the new trainer of Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, admits that he sees eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao as the same dangerous, explosive fighter he has always been.

Atlas told boxing writer Keith Idec that while he expects Bradley to box better in their third fight, he doesn’t anticipate the 37-year-old Pacquiao to be any different from the opponent his ward battled twice when they clash at the  MGM Grand Garden Arena  in Las Vegas on April 9.

However, the trainer who has been credited for Bradley’s impressive ninth-round stoppage of Brandon Rios in his last fight added, “The only thing that may be different is that he may be more conservative.”

He referring to the shocking Pacquiao sixth-round knockout at the hands of Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth meeting on December 2012. His defeat then has resulted in the heightened caution shown by Pacquiao.

But to SS that noticeable care Pacquiao now displays is what went missing when he charged toward Marquez in a  bid to knock the latter out, and was unfortunately met with a lucky punch that put the daylights of him.

Caution does not mean a cause for sluggishness and strength depravity.

Caution simply means safety from an accident, such a lucky punch as that of Marquez’. (PS-fed)