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Commentary
September 15, 2018

CARICATURE: COMELEC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JOSE TOLENTINO JR

What we need is more transparency in the entire voting process. However it seems after watching the Senate Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System Public Hearing, COMELEC keeps on obuscufating the issue.

Since former COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista is no longer available to answer questions, it is COMELEC Executive Director Jose Tolentino Jr. who faces the senate and the media. It doesn’t help that last Sept 12, a day before the Senate committee hearing COMELEC awarded the transmission to SMARTMATIC because the 2 providers didn’t participate in the bidding [worth Php 1.1 billion]. In the previous elections, it was SMART and GLOBE that did the transmission [worth Php 558 Mil]. It doesn’t help that Ragay wasn’t the only place that sent early data transmissions, particularly a day before the election. There was another place in Albay and it was the COMELEC officials who volunteered this information, not realizing what it meant. That the transmissions in Ragay were not an isolated event. These were disclosed by Atty. Glenn Chong during a radio interview.

COMELEC Executive Director Tolentino is in the hot seat and until COMELEC and SMARTMATIC comes clean, that seat will just get hotter and hotter every time they’re caught lying.

Sen. Dick Gordon suggests a several solutions to make the system faster, more simple, cheaper, and more transparent, restoring the integrity of the voting system. He gave an example of a system that is being used by the Red Cross. That’s the direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machine and best of all it is Filipino-made.

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