Tuesday, January 30, 2007

PARTIAL 2007 POLL AUTOMATION NOT DOABLE??? Kudos to all...Bulok. By. M.Esquillo

Bulok- a Filifino word meaning ROTTEN.

In the issue about poll automation, people should find-out and decide who deserves this tag.

So much for Sen. Gordon’s effort on poll automation, so much for PGMA’s approval, and so much for putting-it into law, the last say is till in the hands of our very formidable Commission on Election headed by our man of the house “Mr. It can’t be done” chairman Abalos, who, as early as October last year already went to the media shouting- that Partial Poll Automation can’t be done by 2007, saying a law hasn’t even been approved yet and a budget also hasn’t been released .

Year 2003, or even earlier than this, as the Filipino masses could recall, the Commission on Election pushed hard to acquire machines for poll automation. They did it so hastily that they stepped over technicalities and illegal procurement procedures, results? A 1.3B worth of machines junked inside a warehouse (The P1.3-billion contract with Mega Pacific e-Solutions, was invalidated by the Supreme Court in January 2004 because of glaring irregularities that attended the bidding process…the Mega-Pacific was incorporated only 11 days before the actual submission of Bid..???), and the good news is, according to our system of law - COMELEC officials were CLEARED, and by law, NOT GUILTY of any crime, a 1.3B worth of anomalies without a convicted individual…ironic? No! Bulok!

After the most talked about junking of these machines, 2004 election was done manually, and still, as expected, marred by controversies and cheating allegations. The commission cried like heroes: “that is why the poll should be automated”. As if they were saying that they did their best but they were junked and they don’t know why: playing innocent? Wow Bulok!

A few months after the 2004 mess, Election I mean, poll automation issue was on fire, it was even included in PGMA’s 10 point agenda where the talk about 2007 poll automation is so hot you could cook a lechon in less than a minute. Here goes COMELEC again providing their angelic cry for poll automation. We are all for it!!! Taking the guise of someone who is very ready for automation any time a law is put in place, isn’t that remarkable?

Tracking the issues about this poll automation: PGMA signed R.A. 9369 last Jan.23, seeking to amend the current automation law Republic Act 8436. This law emanated from Sen. Dick Gordon’s S.B. 2231 or the Automated Election Act which was approved last Oct. 12, 2007. (an earlier version was authored by Sen. Angara in the year 2003). A house version (HB 5352 which was approved via a vote of 163 VS 2 last June 7, 2006) of this SB was also authored by Rep. Jesli Lapuz (currently the DepEd Secretary). Even if a person is not fully aware of this tracks, one could say that this issue has been in all the places around the country for quite a long time. Majority of our masses are tired of waiting. The irony is that, despite of the COMELEC’s pronouncements that they are pushing for poll automation for the past 6 years all they can say now is “it can’t be done”. A great service for the Filipino people… Bulok

Now, the issue is at the edge, even to the extent where our favorite guy claim that he would rather be put in jail than to push for partial automation on May 14 unprepared! Jesus, Mary and Joseph… isn’t all those years more than enough??? What have they been doing for the past years? Listening to the issue and events as it shape our electoral system while doing nothing is truly remarkable...Bulok

Our guy was well updated with all the details of deliberations all the way from the start of filling in the lower house up to the time when the senate bungled over excessive debates last April to Oct. 2006. “Mr. It can’t be done” should have prepared for whatever the result is and could have been positive enough to at least prepare for its approval. Besides he was bound to be the hero of poll automation right? Not because he wants to but simply because it is within his mandates as the chairman of the nation’s very credible poll body to make our election Clean, and speedy. They were ready since 2004 right?..Bulok.

This issue has been, according to our great leaders and political experts should be studied first. If a single year is not enough to study a single bill then how long can we make a law? The Bill has been debated well in both houses. Now, COMELEC says it’s too late while local officials says they want to study it first…STUDY??? At this stage what a sense of responsibility…Bulok

If study is the issue, they should have done it last year while the issue was hot on the grill, when all text are available in almost all sources, the net, print publications and even from the files of both houses..if they are too concern about studying the bill or I mean the newly signed RA 9369, they had all the time last year but they simply ignored it, they went on to ride with other issues where media is much more focus..No MEDIA, NO THANKS! ..Bulok

Whatever comes after the ComElec’s Advisory Council convene on Monday and whatever their final recommendations on the viability of partial poll automation, the people should know that Automation has been a long debated issue, but there are those who only sits without doing anything pretending to be concern but not acting when needed. It has been placed in lengthy debates and It has been approved into law. And accordingly, the said RA says that a partial automation in at least 2 pilot municipalities and 2 pilot cities must be made prior to full implementation. The pilot testing will enable our “very credible poll body” to STUDY the system prior to its full implementation on 2010. This has been the issue since last April 2006, COMELEC has been in every step of the way but they did nothing to prepare for the possibility of its approval, they did not prepare when they had the time, I wonder why, maybe we can ask ”Mr. It can’t be done” why…Bulok!

Rotten materials emits a very unpleasant smell…in the issue of poll automation Rotten officials go unpunished and even not given reprimands. In a normal company, a manager who does nothing to prepare for the inevitable things (specially if he has the full knowledge of that thing) that might happen in months or even years to come usually gets fired. Much more if he is caught saying “I am not prepared” despite of the reality that it is his duty to be so. In the COMELEC’s case, they are simply unprepared that’s all…Bulok

2004 Election was very controversial- An open- buffet of allegations on massive cheating, delays in counting and proclamation, protests left and right resulting to an almost a constitutional and political crisis last year. A very traditional election feast for the tired Filipino people and these could again happen after May 14 courtesy of our “Mr. It cant be done” who did all his best to prepare since last 2004 Election to really and honestly make our election process really credible. But let us not just give “Mr. it cant be done” all the credits let us also give hand for those who derailed the passing of the bill in the senate for without them this law should have been smoothly been in its place late August. And kudos should also be given to our great political leaders who did nothing but criticize each other from January to December 2006 and placed automation on the bottom of their priorities. To them we should give an award to honor their great service to the nation, the award will be entitled “BULOK”.

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