5 February 2013
The Commission on Election (COMELEC) should not shrug off the technical defects encountered in the mock elections it held last Saturday as a “minor glitch.” This “minor glitch” is only relative to the scope of the mock elections it conducted. And if this “minor glitch” is to be widely experienced in the May 13 election; it results to a problematic conduct of the election.
The indigenous peoples are worried over what the COMELEC considers simply a “minor glitch.” But the problems of battery/electric power of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines, low/weak signal for transmission and other technical difficulties in the PCOS machines are all magnified in the rural areas where our indigenous communities are located. As we have experienced in the last 2010 election, such “minor glitches” resulted in the disenfranchisement of the indigenous peoples.
The COMELEC is creating a mindset of complacency by ignoring the potential gravity of what they deem as uncomplicated technical defects. Instead, the COMELEC should explain the causes of these technical “glitches” and explain how they intend to remedy these. But more importantly, the COMELEC must present what they have done to address and solve the problems identified in the 2010 automated election system (AES) raised by civil society organizations, peoples organizations and the IT community. Two years is more than enough to address the criticisms.
The COMELEC must ensure that the people’s votes are protected and counted. We want a fast, reliable and credible election that truly reflects the electoral voice and decision of the people in the final results of the May 13, 2012 elections.