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Capability of Comelec to conduct a credible automated elections

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano expressed serious concern over the status of the preparations for the 2013 midterm elections in view of several questions being raised on the capability of Comelec to conduct a credible automated elections this in May.

The senator said the issues must be resolved at the upcoming joint congressional oversight committee on the automated election system (JCOC-AES). The hearing, he said will revolve around the integrity of the upcoming elections.

He cited the case of the recent security breach at the Comelec warehouse and the 13-page petition filed by LDLA Marketing urging the Supreme Court (SC) to issue a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the CF card supply contract.

“I will definitely ask them about the following questions:

(1) Why almost all the Comelec contracts have failed biddings only to be resolved later by having been “negotiated”;

(2) Why were the PCOS machines not secured well enough;

(3) Why aren’t the machines tamper-proof; and

(4) Can Comelec assure our people that there is no way that syndicates can worm their way into the polling system again.

The minority leader has been raising the same concerns time and again over what he has dubbed as the three ‘crown jewels’ of the 2013 national elections: machine, ballot, and transmission.

He also repeatedly warned Comelec that the PCOS machines may be the first target of election operators to tamper since automation has rid syndicates of their ability to operate.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is that they be established as secure and tamper-proof. I have always warned the public that the integrity of the upcoming election is currently at risk given how the Comelec’s recent actions tend to show complacency in ensuring a tamper-proof automated one,” he said.

Cayetano challenged Comelec chairman Brillantes to respond to the questions and allegations being hurled against the agency in its preparation for the elections.

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