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A year after the 2010 elections, the automated system used in the 2010 national and local elections still casts doubt on the legitimacy of the present Government, a coalition of international and local civil society groups claims.
Tanggulang Demokrasya (TanDem) said Malacanang should lead the investigation of the country’s first automated elections, together with Congress and the Commission on Elections to establish its legitimacy.
TanDem is a network of civil society groups, people’s organizations, information technology experts, overseas Filipino professionals, reform advocates and concerned citizens, calling for the comprehensive review of the May 2010 automated elections.
The coalition group pointed out some sectors still consider the much acclaimed 2010 electoral victory as “null and void” because the automated election system was not carried out in accordance with its implementing legislation.
TanDem said that “the gravest electoral cheating in the country’s history happened in the 2010 elections.”
In seeking inquiry into the 2010 elections, TanDem cited the findings of a team of foreign election observers organised by Global Filipino Nation (GFN) in last year’s elections.
TanDem said the GFN observers noted that a number of safeguards to ensure the integrity of the automated election system were illegally set aside which opened the electoral process and results to fraud undermining the legitimacy of the election results.
Some of these safeguards include the suspension of the digital signatures of the members of the Board of Elections Inspectors (BEI), the elimination of the use of the ultraviolet scanners that were designed to authenticate the ballots being fed into Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines, and the disregard of the law’s provision on data retention that happened when Comelec allegedly destroyed memory cards and compact flash cards a few days after the election day.
The GFN report, released June 2010, was prepared by GFN convenor Victor S. Barrios and team members Jun aguilar, Theodore Aquino, Elsa Bayani, Tim Bayani, Robert Ceralvo, Romeo Cayabyab, and Hermenegildo Estrella Jr.
Following the release of the GFN report, TanDem members of GFN and another civil society group, WE Care, filed a petition with the Supreme Court for the disclosure of all photo images of all ballots to facilitate a recount.
The petition is now pending with the Supreme Court.