Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bayan Muna calls on public to be vigilant in protecting their votes

Garbage in, garbage out

Bayan Muna warns vs. electronic cheating,
on public to be vigilant in protecting their votes

Witnessing the installation of the CCS machine at the House of Representatives which would receive electronic returns for the national canvass for president and vice president on election day, Bayan Muna representatives Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares today reiterated their call for the Comelec to implement new safeguards, "otherwise, the CCS machines will be susceptible to that basic rule in computer technology - garbage in, garbage out."

Bayan Muna is opposing proposals to postpone the May 10 elections and wants Comelec to implement remedial measures to all technical problems to ensure credible polls. "While we agree that some form of parallel and expanded random manual count is warranted given the defects of the PCOS, we also warn against a return to full manual counting since there will be higher risks of cheating to be done by experts and veterans of the rigged 2004 elections."

"But whether there will be full automation, partial, parallel, or random manual counting, the people will now have to take it upon themselves to prevent cheating. Comelec and Smartmatic are part of the problem. The solution is the people's vigilance," he said.

"At this point, automation can not guarantee clean, credible elections. We call on our people to be ready to be sleepless for two or three days just to guard the votes. Let us be involved in the checking and sealing process. We must be involved in the counting process. Let people power be alive on May 10," stressed Casiño.

"We must stop Oplan RAFAEL (the scheme to retain Arroyo through failure of elections). Bayan Muna appeals to the public not to be deceived into thinking everything's okay. We are raising our voices to alert the citizenry, to foil the plans of those who wish to control every democratic institution for their own selfish interests. Let's be vigilant in protecting the sanctity of the ballot as our means for instituting reforms beneficial to the people," Casiño urged.

Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares illustrated how problematic the situation could be if "defective" CF memory cards are replaced by another batch of defective cards. "There will be delays, a failure or postponement where the machine or program malfunctions. Some will be forced to do manual counting. This is where expert cheaters can manipulate the results through dagdag-bawas. Or it could be a high-tech, electronic cheating like card switching or transmission of fake results," Colmenares said.

"Generals Bangit, Mapagu and Sec. Gonzales, with their vast network of spies, know some things they are not telling us. They know exactly who stands to benefit from an Arroyo term extension. Instead, they have been lying and deflecting the issue of military involvement in cheating! If these three are not involved in electoral fraud, they should have immediately investigated their subordinates whom we have complained for conducting threats and harassment against progressive candidates and members," Colmenares added.

A protest action is also being held simultaneously at the Comelec central office in Manila.###