Thursday, April 26, 2012


Section 7 of Republic Act No. 7277 provided as among the political and civil rights of (persons with disability) PWDs, their right to vote, including accessibility of polling places. The 1992 law, which was revised by RA 9442 in 2006, provided for the rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance of persons with disabilities and their integration into the mainstream of society.

 "The disability sector has been active in claiming their right to suffrage. PWDs themselves do not think of as disabled but those who view them as the invisible sector and minority affect how they perceive themselves and their capabilities, " said Maribel Buenaobra, Director of Programs at The Asia Foundation.

SWS survey found that among those who did not vote in the 2010 elections, 17% were ashamed to vote because of their disability, another 17% because of mobility problems, 16% because they were either sick or bedridden, and 10% because nobody would shade or read the ballots for them.

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said that "up to 2.6 million PWDs are qualified to vote in the midtem 2013 polls. That is a strong vote that candidates should consider and be accountable for after the polls," remark during the launch of the "Fully Abled Nation."

The DILG Chief added that "LGUs need look closely and pay attention to the needs of PWDs. Probably more of them will listen more if they know that they will vote" and "unless somebody accompanies the PWD voter, they will find it difficult and may fail to exercise their right to vote."
Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento, head of the Comelec Special Committee for PWDs  registration and voting spearheaded a National Registration Week exclusively for PWDs nationwide granting more access to PWD registration as voter.

We have noted judging from reports coming from other areas of the country that the following has been the identified problem in making the registration program successful.

1. Lack of information dissemination by the Commission on Elections and local officials, as well as the difficulties PWDs face in travelling from their residences to the registration area.

2. Lack of proper coordination, cooperation with agencies or groups concerned with PWDs.

3. Lack of logistics, manpower and  necessary funds for the purpose.

4. Lack of interest of other PWDs to register as they are ashamed of their situation.

Although we are not fully aware of any active PWD groups in the municipality, we respectfully ask or call on the existing non-government organization, civic volunteer organization, the local media to help participate in the advocacy of urging and motivating PWDs to exercise their right of suffrage, register and vote. A concerned PWDs representative is the most influential in persuading PWD to register  and vote.

This also is an opportunity for the municipal officials and barangay councils to prove their genuine concern to their constituents by helping and assisting PWDs in respective jurisdiction.

Inspite of the problems and obstacles, the local COMELEC office in the Municipality of Odiongan, Province of Romblon, gears up to hold a Special Registration exclusively for PWDs voters in every satellite registration centers in the municipality. In support and unity to the program endeavor. (See Schedule below)

With confident resolve that having the support and partnership of PWDs rights advocacy group, NGOs, CVOs, media, the local government units in terms of logistical problem, the municipal and barangay officials in educating and fostering PWDs right of suffrage, registration of PWDs in the municipality will not be an exercise in futility. Remember that PWDs are part and parcel of the developmental process in a society.

YEAR 2012

                     MAY   5 (Saturday)                       : Barangay Anahao, Malilico
                                                                               Registration Center (Anahao Barangay Hall)

                    MAY 12 (Saturday)                        : Barangay Prog. Weste, Prog. Este
                                                                              Registration Center ( Prog. Este Barangay Hall)

                    MAY 19 (Saturday)                        : Barangay Tulay, Mayha, Rizal, Taboboan
                                                                              Registration Center (Mayha Barangay Hall)

                    MAY 26 (Saturday)                        : Barangay Pato-o, Amatong
                                                                              Registration Center (Pato-o Barangay Hall)

                    JUNE 2 (Saturday)                         : Barangay Canduyong, Budiong, Bangon
                                                                               Registration Center (Budiong Barangay Hall)

                    JUNE 9 (Saturday)                         : Barangay Gabawan, Batiano, Poctoy
                                                                               Registration Center (Batiano Barangay Hall)

                    JUNE 16 (Saturday)                       : Barangay Tumingad, Libertad, Tuburan, Panique,
                                                                              Registration Center (Libertad Barangay Hall)


PWD’s Registration for Barangay Liwayway, Liwanag, Ligaya, Tabing-Dagat and Dapawan  shall be done at the Office of the Election Officer, located at Municipal Hall Building, Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm.


Missing accurate

Very early this morning, I had the privilege of being a guest on Prof. Winnie Monsod’s segment on Unang Hirit – the morning program of GMA7. Not surprisingly, the topic of conversation was the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court, against the COMELEC’s bid to purchase the PCOS machines we used in the 2010 elections.

Prof. Monsod opened and ended with the sentiment that the COMELEC, in mentioning a return to manual elections, was using blackmail as a means of forcing the acceptance of the COMELEC’s decision to buy the PCOS.

I disagree respectfully.

First of all, whenever the COMELEC speaks of a return to manual elections, we also never fail to mention that we are completely against that outcome; the COMELEC does not want to return to manual elections. However, it is important to understand that manual elections will always remain as a viable – but in extremis – option to conduct elections. After all, if it really becomes impossible to automate, what are we supposed to do? Sit on our thumbs and hope that no one notices?  Despite our dislike of it, manual elections are still better than no elections at all.

Second, mentioning the possibility of a return to manual elections has always been used as a means of underscoring the urgency of resolving the question on the legality of the COMELEC’s exercise of the right to purchase the PCOS. We have never said – nor will we ever say – that it’s “option to purchase or else manual.” What we have repeatedly said is that if the Court rules adversely – which means that the Court says the use of the option to purchase is legally unsound – then we will conduct a public bidding.

Just so we’re clear: Even though the COMELEC believes that it made the right decision in exercising the option to purchase – and would of course like to see that decision vindicated by the Court – what truly matters is that the controversy be settled right away. And, again just to be crystal clear, if the Court decides to nullify the COMELEC’s exercise of the option to purchase, then the COMELEC’s intention is to conduct a public bidding as soon as possible.

Where is the blackmail in that? If this were blackmail, as Prof. Monsod claimed, then the COMELEC’s stance would be drastically different.

And third, ever since it was announced that a TRO would be issued, we have always said that we are asking the Court to rule on the main case as soon as possible. Pressed to give a time-table, we’ve said the best possible timing is to have a decision – whether yea or nay – out by mid-May. Pressed even further, to forecast what will happen in case the SC does not rule by May, we only say that “bidding will get progressively more difficult the longer we have to wait for a decision.” In other words, as far as we are able, we refuse to even consider not going to bidding as an option at this stage.

If anything, the mention of a return to manual elections only emphasizes the urgency of coming to a decision right away, whatever that decision might turn out to be.

That’s the problem with the word “blackmail,” that Prof. Monsod chose to use today: it scandalous, it’s easy to remember, and it will certainly sound good as a soundbite. All of that, however, only makes it an excellent rallying cry for the troops. Unfortunately, it misses “accurate” by a mile and a half.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Comelec defends poll machines’ purchase

Comelec defends poll machines’ purchase



In every election period establishment of COMELEC Checkpoints is necessary to effectively implement the firearms ban during elections. However, in the conduct of checkpoints there is a need to ensure the correct and proper procedure in order not to violate the civil, political and human rights. The reason why Comelec promulgate guidelines to be followed in COMELEC Checkpoints.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Republic of the Philippines
Commission on Elections
Odioñgan, Romblon


October 31, 2012                              -        Last Day of Registration of Voters

October 01-05, 2012                         -        Filing of Certificate of Candidacy
For all Elective Positions
January 28, 2013                              -        Last Day for filing petition for
Inclusion of Voters
February 01, 2013                             -        Last Day for filing petition for
Exclusion of Voters
January 13, 2013 - June 12, 2013   -        ELECTION PERIOD
February 12, 2013 – May 11, 2013  -        Campaign period for Senators,                                                                           political party, organization or                                                                   coalition participating in the party-list                                                                   system of representation
March 30, 2013 – May 11, 2013     -        Campaign period for Congressman,
Provincial and Municipal elective officials
February 12, 2013 – May 13, 2013  -       Appointment and Hiring of New
Employees is Prohibited
-                     Construction of  Public Works is Prohibited
-                     Release, Disbursement or Expenditures of public funds is Prohibited
March 28-29, 2013                          -        Campaigning is prohibited
May 11, 2013                                   -        Last day of campaigning  for all                                                                        elective positions
June 12, 2013                                   -        Last Day to file Statement of
Contribution & Expenditures of all

Please observe all prohibited acts during election period.


otherwise known as the FAIR ELECTION ACT

Republic Act No. 9006 otherwise known as the Fair Election Act which was enacted into law last 2001, amended and repealed Sections 67 and 85 of Batas Pambansa 881 known as the Omnibus Election Code, Sections 10 and 11 of Republic Act. No. 6646 known as the Electoral Reform Law and Section 11, paragraph 3 of Republic Act. No. 8436, likewise, known as the Law on Automated System of Election.

Government Officials

Previously, any incumbent elective official, national or local, running for any office/position other than the one he is holding is considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon filing of certificate of candidacy (Section 67 of Omnibus Election Code) until repealed by Sec. 11, par. 3, Republic Act No. 8436 which provides until upon the start of the campaign period.

However, the Fair Election Act extended the incumbency of duly elected officials running for or seeking election to an office/position other than the ones they are respectively holding until after expiration of their respective terms of office, even after they had filed his/her certificate of candidacy or the start of campaign period.

Meanwhile appointive officials are deemed resigned from their position upon filing of their Certificate of Candidacy based on a Supreme Court ruling relative to the issue.


Republic Act No. 9006 lifted also the ban on the use of political/election propaganda materials and advertisements through mass media by candidates, political parties, groups, or coalitions.

The selling or giving free of charge by mass media for campaign or political purposes of print space / airtime to candidates /political parties is now allowed under Sec. 4 and 6 of said Act which has repealed Section 11(b) of Republic Act No. 6646 and Sections  90, 92 of Omnibus Election Code. However, donation, paid print / broadcast advertisements are subject to certain prescribed fixed requirements.

A common requirement for both is that it must bear and be identified by the legible/audible word “political advertisement paid for” followed by the true and correct “name and address of the candidate/political party” for whose benefit the propaganda was printed or aired.

 Further, mass media columnists, commentators, announcers or personalities who are candidates for any elective public office previously are merely considered on leave or required to take leave of absence from their work during the campaign period but pursuant to Section 6, paragraph 6.6 of Fair Election Act they are not only considered or required to take a leave of absence from their work during the campaign period, but also to resign therefrom if so required by their employers.


Formerly, Comelec has the duty to designate common poster areas in strategic places wherein candidates can post, display or exhibit lawful election propaganda materials to announce / further their candidacy.

But under the Fair Election Act the Comelec can only authorize candidates, political parties, and party list groups to erect common poster areas for themselves / for their candidates in not more than ten (10) public places with a size not exceeding 12 feet by 18 feet or its equivalent, instead of the former designating common poster area.

Common poster area can also be erected in any private places provided it has the consent of the owner and to any public place / property subject to the requirement of equitable and impartial allocation of said place / property among the candidates.


In previous existing election law billboards may be installed by Comelec or non-partisan organization authorized by Comelec in strategic places whenever that is feasible and after due notice and hearings.

Presently this installation of Comelec and non-partisans organization is prohibited except billboards put up or displayed by or at the instance of candidates or political parties with the authority of the Comelec.


Lawful election propaganda materials maybe posted in Common Poster Areas authorized by the Comelec to be set up by candidates / political parties / party, party-list group themselves, to any private place provided it has the consent of the owner and in any place / property subject to the requirement of equitable and impartial allocation of said place / property among candidates.

Lawful election propaganda materials include pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers and other written or printed materials with a maximum size of 8 ½  x 14 inches. Posters (cloth, paper, cardboard, tarpaulin, either framed or posted) must meet the maximum required size of 2 feet by 3 feet.

Formerly streamers may be displayed at the site or on the occasion of a public meeting or rally one (1) week before the date of the meeting or rally and shall be removed within seventy two (72) hours thereafter. But now streamers with a maximum size of 3 feet by 8 feet maybe posted or displayed only at the site and on the occasion of a public meeting or rally five (5) days before the holding of said meeting or rally and should be removed within twenty four (24) hours after the meeting or rally.

Furthermore, those prohibited election propaganda enumerated in Section 85 of the Omnibus Election Code are now allowed to be used as election propaganda by virtue of the repeal of said provision of Omnibus Election Code by Section 14, Republic Act No. 9006.

Any violation of the said Act and the implementing rules and regulations issued relative thereto shall constitute an election offense punishable by imprisonment of one (1) year but not more than six (6) years and ineligibility for probation, disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Persons with Disability (PWD) Registration

National Registration Week for PWD

July 18- 23 set by Comelec as National Registration Week for persons with disabilities (PWD).

The Commission on Elections has set July 18 to 23 as Person With Disabiltiy (PWD) National Registration Week.

July 18 to 23 was especially chosen by the Comelec because it coincides with the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week. Those who will register during these dates will be given priority with the use of special registration lanes.

The PWDs who for one reason or another, will not be able to register during the PWD National Registration Week can still register until October 31, 2012 at the Offices of the City or Municipal Election Officers.

It may be recalled that the Comelec has started entertaining applicants for registration, transfer, change of name, correction and validation since May 3, 2011.

Special centers exclusive to PWDs will be set up in SM Southmall, Las Piñas on July 21, SM Valenzuela (July 21), SM Marikina (July 22), SM Manila (July 22 to 23), SM San Lazaro (July 23), SM North Edsa (July 23) and SM Fairview (July 23). They will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voter's ID Card



For those voters of the municipality who have their biometric information digitally captured (photographs, fingerprints and signatures) or taken by the Data Capturing Machine (DCM) you are hereby advised to check with the Office of the Election Officer the available printed Voter’s ID card which was delivered and receive last Monday, March 26, 2012, ready for issuance. 

Only registrants whose biometrics (i.e. photograph, fingerprints and signature) which have been digitally captured by the COMELEC's Voter's Registration machine (VRM) /Data Capture Machine (DCM) during application and those who applied for Validation of their registration will be issued a voter's ID card by Comelec. 

It is therefore advisable to old voters to have their biometric information duly captured by the VRM/DCM through application for Validation because this biometrics information is needed for the printing and issuance of the Voter's ID card. Application for validation last up to October 31, 2012. Apply now! 

In case your Voter’s ID card is not yet available you can verify the status of printing by sending e-mail to with the following information: 
  • full voter's name (first name, middle name, last name)
  • date of birth
  • address


The Tentative List of Voters of the municipality of Odiongan, Province of Romblon, is now available online via where qualified voters can browse and verify if their name is included otherwise they have to avail of the remaining period to immediately go to the Office of the Election Officer located in the Municipal Hall of the municipality to apply and register as voter in order to vote in the forthcoming May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections.

Rules on Detainee Registration and Voting

Rules on Detainee Registration and Voting Set

To implement the right of suffrage of persons deprived of their liberty, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) laid down the rules and regulations on detainee registration and voting in connection with the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections thru Comelec Resolution No. 9371.
Detainees who shall be eighteen (18) years of age on the day of election and/or committed inside the detention center for at least six (6) months immediately preceding election day may register as a voter. Detainees who are already registered may apply for transfer of registration record.
For this purpose, satelite registrations shall be conducted in the detention centers/jails by the concerned Election Officer (EO). The Election Officer shall coordinate first with the Jail Warden in the Provincial/City/Municipal Jail or other Correctional/Rehabulitation/Detention Centers to determine qualified applicant detainees and to ensure maximum security of Comelec personnel and the Voters Registration Machine (VRM) to be used.
On election day, detaineed who can vote are those who are registered and whose registration record is not transferred/deactivated/cancelled or deleted. They can vote either through special polling place inside the jails or through escorted voting.
Special polling places shall be established in detention centers/jail facility with at least 50 registered detainee voters which shall be manned by the Special Board of Elections Inspectors (SBEI).
If there is no special polling place established in the detention center/jail or if the detainee voter is a registered voter of the municipality/city other than the town/city of detention, the detainee voter may avail of escorted detainee voting provided that they are able to obtain court orders allowing them to vote in the polling place where they are registered and that it is logically feasible on the part of the jail/prison administration to escort the detainee voter. Reasonable measures shall be undertaken to secure the safety of detainee voters, prevent their escape and ensure public safety.
During the campaign period, candidates shall also be allowed to campaign inside the detention centers subject to the existing rules and regulations of the BJMP and the COMELEC.
Detainee refers to persons who are: (1) confined in jail, formally charged for any crime/s and awaiting/under trial; or (2) serving sentence of imprisonment for less than one (1) year; or (3) whose conviction of a crime involving disloyalty to the duly constituted government or any crime against national security is on appeal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Board of Election Inspectors (BEI)

Member of the Board of Election Inspectors must be aware of the following:

Acts Constituting Election Offense.

  • Deliberate absence on Election Day for the purpose of obstructing or delaying the performance of its duties or functions.
  • Refusal to sign and certify, without justifiable reason, any required election forms.
  • Acceptance of an appointment to the BEI, and actually serving as a member thereof, although he or she is ineligible.
  • Deliberate omission to read the vote duly written on the ballot, or misreading the vote actually written thereon or reading the name of a candidate where no name is written on the ballot.
  • Deliberate failure to record a vote, or records erroneously the vote as read, or records a vote where no such vote has been read by the Chairman.
  • Making it possible for the casting of more votes than there are registered voters.
  • Opening or destroying the ballot box or removing or destroying its contents without or against the order of the Commission on Elections.
  • Enabling, through negligence, any person to open and destroy the ballot box or remove and destroy its contents against the order of the Commission on Elections.
  • Knowingly using ballots other than the official ballots.
  • Neglecting or failing to properly preserve or account any ballot box, documents and forms received by him/her and kept under his/her custody.
  • Revealing the contents of the ballot of an illiterate or disabled voter whom he assisted in preparing a ballot.
  • Transferring, without authority, the location of a polling place.
  • Violation, through any act, means or device, of the integrity of any official ballot or election returns before or after they are used in the election.
  • Engaging artisan political activity.
  • Delay in the decision on all matters raised before the Board of Election Inspectors.
  • Violation of the rules in the observance of the voting hours and the procedures on voting, from the arrival of the voter at the polling place up to the actual casting of the ballots.
  • Failure to record challenges and oaths relating to the challenges against the qualifications of voters and to keep said records.
  • Failure to accomplish the Minutes of Voting and Counting of Votes.
  • Failure to properly dispose the unused ballots.
  • Premature announcement of result of voting.
  • Violation of the rule that counting shall be public and without interruption.
  • Violation of the rules on the handling of excess marked and spoiled ballots.
  • Violation of the rules on the proper counting of votes, which includes, reading of the votes, tallying of votes in the election returns and in the Tally Board, and the accomplishment of the data in the election returns.
  • Violation of the rules on the alteration and correction of entries in the election returns.
  • Failure to issue certificate of votes to duly accredited watchers.
  • Violation of the rules on the distribution of Election Returns, and in the disposition of Ballot Boxes and the other election supplies and their delivery to the proper office or person.
  • Tampering, increasing or decreasing correct votes. 
  • Refusing, after proper verification and hearing, to credit the correct votes or deduct such tampered votes. 

(Conviction of a charge for election offense is punishable by one (1) to six (6) years of imprisonment.)


At this point in time, a prelude to the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections, election Automation is at the verge of question and submission.

I still remember, when the Commission on Elections initially introduced the automation of the May 10, 2010 elections utilizing the PCOS technology numerous groups and personalities gang up the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM. The opposition apprehensions and fears for the technology even result to a petition also filed with the Supreme Court seeking to put a halt to poll automation.

But when the cloud that shrouds the May 10, 2010 electoral exercise was over said groups and personalities were proven all wrong after the 2010 elections have been widely praised as generally successful, not only by most Filipinos but also by the international community.

The lawyer of the group known as Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) said, “The elections, despite our worse apprehensions, did not fail." The “credit should be given to both the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM for this triumph of democracy. As we have repeatedly stated, we would be more than happy if history were to prove us wrong. And by God, we’re absolutely thrilled," he said.

A noted columnist also offered his apologies to Comelec, saying “I was wrong about the automation, I was wrong about the Comelec commissioners, I was wrong about Jose Melo, I was wrong about Smartmatic. And, boy, am I absolutely ecstatic to be so. They did a fantastic job despite an un-fantastic past. I owe them my deepest apologies.” 

The manual auditing conducted by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) showed that the May 10 elections—the country’s first national automated polls—were 99.6% accurate. According to PPCRV Chairperson Henrietta de Villa, there were minor discrepancies discovered but it was due to “clerical” errors and "mathematical errors" or wrong computations by the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI).

The House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms who conducted a hearing on electoral complaints regarding the AES, headed by Makati Representative Teddyboy Locsin, called the May 2010 automated elections a “mixed success,” saying that while the technology used was successful, “sporadic cheating” still occurred.
And because of the positive outcome of the 2010 automated election process Commission on Elections Chairman Jose A. R. Melo expressed confidently that, “It is a very encouraging report. It means that the machines worked 99 percent”. He further exclaimed that “Automation is here to stay. As long as we have the money, we will automate.”

Meanwhile, when Chairman Melo was asked regarding the automation of the forthcoming May 13, 2013 election he replied that even if the Comelec and the people want automation it all “depend on the Congress and the President.” Because, “if Congress doesn’t appropriate money”, the Comelec can’t do nothing.

To realize the automation of the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections the Commission on Elections had proposed a budget of P10 billion for the said political exercise, but Congress only gave P7 billion. This practically has tied up the hands of the Commission on its financial resources. Thereby, it has to adopt measures and option that would augment the appropriated money.  

Due to limited funding allocated by Congress the Comelec opted to take advantage of the "low" cost of acquiring the machines under the purchase option from Smartmatic. The 82,000 PCOS machines including the software for the Automated Election System (AES) technology and a new Consolidation and Canvassing System at a discounted 1.8 billion worth. It is probably the right and best way to deal with the limited time frame and the 30% cut in its budget. For Chairman Sixto S. Brilliantes, Jr. it would be the most prudent and practical alternative for the poll body.

But in the midst of the situation the ghost of apprehension, fears and opposition resurrects to go off the course of the Comelec and people’s desire for a continuous automated elections. The very essence of Republic Act No. 9369 which authorized the use of automated election system in pursuit of modernizing the election system of the country. 

Lately, mostly self-styled election reform activists and some election upright groups filed a petition urging the Supreme Court to stop or to cancel the Comelec PCOS purchase citing legal technicality. The petitioner said, “It is, therefore, evident that Comelec’s exercise of the expired Option to Purchase, despite acceptance of Smartmatic’s offer of extension is, with due respect, tantamount to giving the winning bidder, after its contract ended, a benefit that was not known and available to all bidders during the bidding for the 2010 AES,” the group said. The Comelec decision is “clearly dubious maneuverings of a private company to avoid the strict requirements of Philippine procurement and bidding laws.” The group added that the Comelec entered the contract with Smartmatic-TIM despite “incontrovertible findings of glitches, malfunctions, bugs and defects of the PCOS machines.” This move of the group would derail and gave a hard time for the Comelec ongoing preparation for the May 13, 2013 elections.

Let’s look and consider whether the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. and the four other commissioners, Commissioners Rene V. Sarmiento, Lucenito N. Tagle, Armando C. Velasco and Elias R. Yusoph, in agreement decided to purchase and reuse the already tried and tested PCOS technology. Commissioners Christian Robert S. Lim and Augusto C. Lagman dissented from the majority decision.

Atty. Romulo Macalintal a noted ‘election’ lawyer stressed that IT experts must respect the poll body’s choice because it has the authority to decide whether or not to buy and reuse the PCOS machines. “Only the Comelec has the constitutional mandate to enforce and employ all means necessary to ensure a clean and honest election,” he said. Accordingly, “only the Comelec has the recognized expertise on matters relating to the use of machines and instruments to carry out its functions, in which the Supreme Court or any other agency cannot intervene.Atty. Macalintal is in accord with the majority decision of Comelec Commissioners.

With regards to the bidding "benefits" that the 2010 AES was not known and available to all bidders? Comelec spokesman James Jimenez writes, “The invitation to apply for eligibility, and to bid for the automated election system, elicited positive responses from the following corporations: Smartmatic International Corp. and Total Information Management Corp.; Avante International Technology Inc.; Syrex Corp./Scantron; Data Voting System/Samsung; Universal Storefront Services Corp.-Sequoia; Indra Sistemas S.A.; All Data Hub International Inc.; Gilat Satellite Network Ltd.; AMA Group Holdings Corp.-Election System & Software; and Mega Data Corp.”

“Of these 10, only seven went on to submit their sealed bids on May 4, 2009, and none of them represented homegrown talent. Although they all had local partners—as Smartmatic does—these seven offered election solutions that were based on technology that came from nearly everywhere but the Philippines: the United States, for instance; Spain and Israel.”

“Apart from that, there is also the law to contend with. Republic Act 9369 clearly states that the system to be procured “must have demonstrated capability and been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or abroad.” Which only means that, even if the Comelec did conduct a public bidding for the automated election system to be used in 2013, the chances of a Filipino-developed solution to even qualify for bidding would not be all that great since it would not have the “demonstrated capability” called for by the law.” A transparent transaction, indeed!

Spokesman Jimenez continues, “About a couple of weeks ago, one of the most vocal oppositors” the Kontra Daya 2010 group comprising the AES Watch “to the Comelec’s purchase of the PCOS grudgingly admitted that the offer had, in fact, been extended”. “Inexplicably, despite this admission, he has clung to his allegation of expiration. Since the group does not seem disposed to believe the Comelec’s repeated debunking of that claim, perhaps they can be persuaded by one who stands with them in opposition to the Comelec decision.”

In the issue of the incontrovertible findings of glitches, malfunctions, bugs and defects of the PCOS machines.  Again, Atty. Romulo Macalintal also said in no uncertain terms: “The complaints of some IT experts against PCOS pertain merely to technical defects which have not been proven to have affected the accuracy of the ballot counts and consolidation of results in the election returns and certificates of canvass. This is the reason no election protest involving the PCOS count has ever progressed at the Comelec, the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal or trial courts”.”

Admittedly, PPCRV Chairperson Henrietta de Villa said, there were minor discrepancies discovered but it was due to “clerical” errors and "mathematical errors" or wrong computations by the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI).

Both Chairman Brilliantes and Smartmatic head Cezar Flores reiterated that "The system has complied with the mandates of the law," Mr. Flores said. Mr. Brillantes agreed, adding that most of the alleged glitches were due to "human error and not to machine error."

To sum it up most of alleged glitches, malfunctions, bugs and defects of the PCOS machine are mainly due to human error rather than a technical or system error.

In a Comelec statement it says that the Smartmatic has already corrected all these reported glitches and defects in the system. These corrective measures were done when the Comelec prepared for the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in August last year but which were subsequently aborted by a Congress-approved law. The ARMM polls have been synchronized with the May 2013 midterm elections.

As part of the preparation for the 2013 elections the Comelec assured the people that Smartmatic is making corrections to eliminate “deficiencies” in the machines that were recorded in 2010. Mr. Cesar Flores of Smartmatic said the Comelec, when it availed of its option to buy the PCOS machines, asked for Smartmatic to include new features, improvements and enhancements. With the improved features and changes in safeguards in PCOS machines against tamper and fraud as required by Comelec, Flores declared they are ready for our country’s next automated elections. “The system is auditable, secure and accurate,” Flores added.

In justifying the decision for “option to purchase” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said getting the machines at a huge discount removed the headache of sourcing funds for the 2013 elections.

Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said that aside from the familiarity of the voters with the machines, they also considered the limited budget of the Commission on Elections. “We decided to buy the machines for practical reasons. It is much cheaper [and] PCOS was proven effective,” Sarmiento said. They approved the decision to acquire the machines since they were satisfied with the action taken by Smartmatic in correcting the problems they encountered in the 2010 national and local polls. 

This only shows that the Comelec stands pat on PCOS technology? “There are things that can be improved, not all those things have to do with PCOS machines, it’s important that we know what really can be improved through technology, what can be improved through better project management and better education and other areas that are not technology related,” Smartmatic-Asia President Cesar Flores said.

Former Comelec Chairman Jose A. R. Melo admitted that there is “vast room for improvement” on the part of Comelec. “We have to improve to make it almost error-free, criticism-free, we can improve in terms of our education program, the instruction of voters. Like the digital signatures—not so many people understood that system that’s why we need an information drive.”

Likewise, former Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, who is now External Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), said “information is key to the success of the next elections. Information dissemination, letting people know what has been done, what is to be done, and what will happen in 2013 to allay the concerns of some people," he explained.

Just like what happened in May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections, criticism and opposition on every sides, which make Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal and Smartmatic President Cesar Flores an instant celebrities on print and broadcast media, the Commission on Elections takes stand in continuously making history for Philippine Automated Election System and in making May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections automated.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

2004 Election Results

2004 Election Result


Republic of the Philippines
Odioñgan, Romblon


Municipal Mayor
Political Party Affiliation
1.      Fernandez, Jemly Hankins
Lakas CMD
2.      Galindez, Daryle Fabella
3.      Famatiga, Etanislao Meñez
4.      Reyes, John Andrew Maulion
Municipal Vice Mayor
Political Party Affiliation
1.   Fajutnao, Brecio Jr. Dalisay
Lakas CMD
2.   Aguila, Ma. Filca Guerra
3.   Bantang, Dominador Servañez
4.   Bocita, Florencio Fornal
Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Councilor)
Political Party Affiliation
1.      Ramos, Ramer Mercado
2.      Dimaala, Diven Fos
3.      Fabello, Louie Anastacio
Lakas CMD
4.      Forio, Alfonso Malapajo
5.      Fontanoza, Fidel Forteza
6.      Chua, Romeo Jr. Fermanejo
Lakas CMD
7.      Martirez, Joy Fontamillas
Lakas CMD
8.      Maulion, Robert Fetalino
9.      Fodra, Felixberto De Leon
10.   De Villa, Jovito Formon
11.   Lachica, Rolly Fetalvero
Reforma LM
12.   Magallanes, Jonathan Fetalino
13.   Maulion, Virgilio Catapang
14.   Fran, Lily Maulion
Lakas CMD
15.   Ferranco, Antonio Vicente
Lakas CMD
16.   Meñez, Conrado Jr. Fronda
17.   Famisaran, Asher Faigao
Lakas CMD
18.   Faderogao, Nicky Atilano
19.   Parsons, Grace Fabriquier
20.   Carangan, Elizabeth Fabello
Lakas CMD
21.   Famatiga, Edmund Solano
Lakas CMD
22.   Alag, Alden Leaño
23.   Perez, Eddie Solabo
24.   Garcia, Rainerio Faderon
25.   Fiedacan, Vicente Fabon
Reforma LM
26.   Calay, Alner Familara
Reforma LM
27.   Fernando, Ulysses Recto
28.   Selorio, Juan De Manuel
Reforma LM
29.   Suarez, Edna Dalisay


I am a Responsible and Principled Citizen.

I will educate myself and others about the issues at hand so that my vote is a meaningful and relevant exercise of my right of suffrage.

I pledge to vote for candidates who will abide by the duly constituted rules on campaigning because I understand that those who refuse to obey the law in the little things are not likely to obey the law in the more important things;

I pledge to vote for candidates who, by word and action, renounce violence, coercion, vote-buying, and corruption as means for getting elected;

I pledge to vote for the candidates who listen to their constituents and are responsive to the needs and aspirations of those they seek to represent;

I pledge to vote as my conscience dictates in all elections.

I make these promises freely and upon my honor.

(This Voter Pledge was read at the Unity Walk of 13 January 2013, by COMELEC Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph)