By Alvin Murcia

Election watchdogs yesterday said they will be pushing a more transparent system of election using the local technology to avoid repeating the fraudulent poll results of the two last automated elections, with this year’s senatorial elections showing a clearly fraudulent 60-30-10 pattern in favor of President Aquino’s senatorial candidates.

This pattern is mathematically impossible on a nationwide scale as the pattern was consistent in every precinct, every city and every region. This was according to the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) and Automated Election System (AES) Watch as they presented their findings of the automated elections in 2013.

According to former Commission on Elections (Comelec) lawyer-turned whistle blower, Magdamo, the commission had overprinted ballots and these were printed outside the National Printing Office (NPO) which is a violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

In his presentation, Magdamo showed pictures of ballots being packaged in a warehouse that is not physically that of the NPO warehouse.

Aside from this, the packaging of the printed ballots was not that of the official plastic that should have protected it from being damaged.

Magdamo also disclosed that the markings of the printed ballots bore the problematic precincts nationwide which is highly irregular since the ballots that were printed before the May 13 elections had no such markings.

“How can these ballots already have the markings of the problematic precincts? So it means the ballots were printed after the elections,” Magdamo stressed.

The former Comelec lawyer also disclosed that he himself took a photo shoot of the warehouse of Noah’s printing company, one of the printing firms contracted by Comelec, with the other one being The Holy Family Printing, located in Marikina City which is just 200 meters from where he resides.

His curiosity was borne out of the information of his neighbors that there are activities in the said warehouse, mostly done at night and that many SUV’s have been coming and going in the said place.
Magdamo said the reserve printing of ballots is allowed but not two months after the elections have been concluded.
Pictures of the said ballot printing at the Holy Family Printing in Congressional Road in Quezon City were also shown which he also described as highly irregular.

Magdamo further said that NPO and the Bangko Sentral should be the ones authorized to print the ballots but BSP always declines to do so, thus, the poll body contracted The Holy Family Printing for the printing along with the NPO for the May 13 elections.

Under the law, the Comelec can order the printing of official ballots if it is holding a special election. The 2013 polls were not special elections.

The PCOS machines, it was also pointed out in the forum, likewise failed to transmit some 8,000 elections returns which until now has not been explained by the Comelec.

This clear deliberate malfunctioning of the PCOS machines has pushed election watchdogs to think of an alternative way of conducting the elections because if it would remain the same, the 2016 presidential elections will be no different from the fraudulent 2010 and 2013 elections.

During the presentation, Magdamo also disclosed that the Noah printing press is located near the river and there is a big possibility the paper will be bloated because of humidity.

“The printing paper is a bit thicker than that which would be used for the ballots and if that will be the case, the PCOS machines will reject it, as what happened in the 2013 elections,” Magdamo said.

This was the case in the 2013 May 13 elections wherein there were many ballots that had been rejected by the PCOS machines, preventing many voters from voting because they could not be given spare ballots.

The spoiled ballots should have been placed inside the A-15 folder as provided for by the Omnibus Election Code but up to this time, the poll body has not shown the folder.

“Where is the folder? It should be presented by the Comelec so there could be a clear accounting how many ballots have been rejected,” Magdamo said.

The group maintained the May 2013 automated elections were technologically and politically a corrupted election process that showed the ineptitude of the Comelec at its worst.

Source: The Daily Tribune