By MANUEL L. MORATÓ
Believe it or not – Part II
To continue my column last Tuesday, gusto kong segundahan the call of President Duterte for Comelec “to scrap poll technology provider.” Vice President-to-be Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. made the same call to “Junk Smartmatic.”
Isn’t it ironic that both “Bongbong” and “Bingbong” were cheated out of the race?
It is really time to change the system we are using for our elections. Unfortunately, we got into it without dissecting the system thoroughly, despite what happened in the state of Illinois (USA), home state of then candidate Obama where Smartmatic was used; in Venezuela, and I am sure in other places as well. The sanctity of the ballot was lost.
In 2010, we were carried away by the convincing explanations of Comelec spokesperson, James Jimenez, despite the objections of people who know the technology very well such as Mr. Lagman who resigned from the Comelec as one of the Commissioners, known as an expert on automated election, thinking that he would just keep quiet when he saw something wrong going on. He opted to resign. Another friend who ran for the Senate is Toti Casiño, an IT professor, another person who called our attention to the danger of the computer being fed to us when practically all of those commissioners sitting in the Comelec only pretended to know better despite the strong and consistent objections of Glenn Chong.
Coupled with the “convincing” explanations of Director James Jimenez, most of our people were taken for a ride. On my part, after learning the lotto system since I was appointed PCSO Chairman in 1994 by FVR and was tasked to study the system, I was convinced that it’s the only computer machine that is honest and tamper-proof. I was even compelled to travel to attend international lotto conferences in Europe, U.S. and Asia without wanting to because I had too many travels abroad since I was a teenager that I got fed up and lost my desire to travel. And duty called for me to come back right after the conference.
We called on the computer experts of the Commission on Audit (COA) to study the system, including the Main Computer Center. Binalibaligtad na lahat and were convinced that it’s a machine that is tamper-proof; and if any one tried to monkey around with the Main Computer Center, the mere attempt to tamper will make the Main Computer Center collapse; and that’s the “brain” of the whole gaming. The COA IT experts tried to tamper with the Main Computer Center, it just stopped. This I believe is what the Comelec should have done. They would not listen to the private group who kept warning the Comelec. But Comelec should have called on the COA; a government agency, to evaluate the machines; and the system. That’s more their line to ensure the integrity of the machines. Why didn’t the Comelec avail of the services of the COA (Commission on Audit)?
We must remember that there are about 150 countries with lotto around the world and all the machines used have an intellectual property owned by the manufacturer. The lotto machines are made to be honest and unthinkable to corrupt or the whole lotto system will collapse worldwide for bettors will loose credibility on this gaming to raise funds for charity.
What I am trying to say is, the intellectual property protects the machines from being tampered for if cheating ever occurred in any of the machines of any of the lotto system supplier, the whole lotto gaming will suffer and people will not believe in the lotto anymore kapag pinasukan ng dayaan. The lotto gaming will collapse worldwide. That’s one guarantee the system providers assure its clients. Dapat ang system provider must take watch of their system for once cheating and rigging happens, the lotto gaming is dead. And the reason the Church accepts the lotto, even the Vatican, is because of its integrity. No cheating for once cheating occurs, the lotto gaming becomes immoral and will be labeled illegal gambling, not entertainment or amusement anymore. The lotto worldwide is classified under amusement.
When I headed the PCSO, the lotto was drawn only once at night about 8 P.M. after office hours. It was designed as purely for entertainment and for a good cause – to raise funds for charity. And the reason for making the draw after office hours is to prevent the people from being cloned to develop a culture of gambling. When I left the PCSO, three draws per day was introduced – mid-morning, afternoon and night (the official draw time). The lotto sales dropped immensely. Nasingitan ng ibang gambling.
When President Gloria reappointed me in 2004, as one of the directors, I told the board to allow me to inhibit myself, but they can proceed with what they wish to do. I was the only one who did not sign the board resolution for I believe we are the only country with 3 draws a day. And because of it, many turned to gambling the whole day hoping against hope to win. Many do not want to work anymore and just gambled their little money away, again, hoping against hope to be rich. Instead they are still poor. It developed the culture of gambling. Like “Juan Tamad,” many of our people just sat under a tree waiting for a fruit to drop. In like manner, people gambled the whole day, waiting to hit the jackpot, but became poorer instead. No one become rich in gambling; and that’s the reason the lotto was designed to be drawn once a day after office hours. In other words: Work at daytime and play the lotto after office hours, only as entertainment or for recreation. Pag tumama at manalo, very good. Bonus!!!
Going back to our computerized dishonest election, there are just too many (one or two too many) organization meddling in our elections. There must be one body like what they have in the U.S., disbanded after every election. I don’t believe the U.S. has a Comelec to speak of, neither in many other countries in Europe and Asia. I think it’s about time to give this a good thought. If I am not mistaken, charges of cheating or what have you goes to the Courts, not to a biased group.
We send cases to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) which is now known to delay its decision, when one of the three (3) Justices of the Supreme Court decides to “park the case.” We can only hope for the Jury System in some cases like in the U.S.
I refer to the U.S. because our system of government was patterned after their system, although we bastardized it. One missing in our elections is the vote of the Electoral College that can’t be bought; and serves as protection against vote-buying; and ignorant voters who want to run our country. The Electoral College ensures an orderly transfer of power for the President and Vice President, over and above the “popular vote.” That’s what we need to remove, cheating and vote buying. That’s the only way to ensure a clean and honest election.
Think about it: there is the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) meddling in our elections accredited by the Comelec. But why? The cheating in the last election occurred in their polling place at the Pope Pius Center where the ñ (enye) for “puñeta” was allowed to be tampered with that changed the counting and went haywire. The counting was going on and they tampered with the machine just because of puñeta?
I would like to add that in the 2016 presidential elections, even 8 and 12-year-old children were allowed by the PPCRV to man the computers. What do you think of that?
The Comelec must not accredit any “organization” willing to “help.” A group can be biased, and can be composed of people who are friends of some candidates, or supporters of some candidates to infiltrate the electoral process. Maybe not only Smartmatic is entirely to blame after all! Not because they are “Catholics” must they be allowed. But the separation of Church and State must be obeyed and respected. They think they can always be forgiven in confession if they cheat. Wrong. Without restitution for the votes they shaved off, or stole, they cannot enter heaven for only God on judgement day can forgive IF there is restitution. No priest, bishop, cardinal, and not even the Pope can forgive a crime of stealing from the people (money or votes or properties) can forgive in confession for even God will not forgive without restitution. What was stolen must be returned before forgiveness, in the thief’s lifetime; or go to hell for all eternity.
I believe, as I was told, Namfrel is not accredited anymore as another “watch-dog.” According to some people who told me, they lost trust when Namfrel declared Cory Aquino the “winner” at Edsa at only 50% or 60% of the votes counted; while the count in Congress was going on with different results in favor of Marcos.
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