mediocre media

and when the poll count stalled, the tv coverage stopped.  anywhere else in the world, a stalled automated election count would have been grist for the mill, something that would have excited, perked up, broadcast media, given them something to pounce on and monitor non-stop, its extent and implications for 2016 elections to discuss and debate, in the service of the filipino electorate.  instead, coverage petered out, pang newscast and regular programming na lang.  soooo in the service of their bosses?  bosses with vested interests in non-transparent automated elections?

o baka naman napakiusapan lang sila ni brillantes, as in, let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill, let’s not give gus lagman and the IT community a venue for venting, let’s not get the people agitated, let’s relax, take it easy.  argh.

c’mon, media.  level up naman. 


  1. ‘level up’… ‘mediocre’ .. these are charitable words. but then christianity commands us to forgive and love our fellows, for we are sinners all.. they’re also human beings, but never mind.

  2. manuel buencamino

    Philippine media is mediocre. No doubt about that. But I don’t attribute the lack of coverage over the bloopers and the concerns of Gus Lagman and his IT allies to the mediocrity of media. There was simply no public uproar to excite, perk up, broadcast media, given them something to pounce on and monitor non-stop. The story had no traction that’s why coverage petered out. I also don’t know if I would go as far as to suspect that the lack of coverage came from the bosses because those bosses have their own vested interests, vested interests that conflict more than they coincide.

    Stories over those bloopers would have gotten traction if the UNA candidates who won refused to accept their proclamation. But neither Nancy, Gringo, nor JV are protesting. Even Koko who at first said he was not pleased about the early proclamation accepted his in the end. There is no united UNA stand, there is no public uproar, is media supposed to create the uproar?

    Maybe there will be a story later, if and when somebody presents evidence that would overturn or place serious doubts over the results of the election. But media cannot get ahead of the story, it cannot create an uproar first and then produce evidence later. First the evidence and then the uproar, like what happened in 2004 and in 2007 with Migz and Koko.

    The public has heard what Gus and company have to say and they are not convinced because they have seen that automated elections make dagdag-bawas operations extremely difficult if not nearly impossible. The reported increase in vote-buying, voter intimidation, and voter disenfranchisement indicates that automation is forcing cheaters to practice their craft on the front-end or prior to voting rather than at the back-end or during the canvassing.

    • GabbyD

      “There was simply no public uproar to excite, perk up, broadcast media, given them something to pounce on and monitor non-stop.”

      thats not how journalism works. you should know better.

      if journalism was just some kind of megaphone for the public’s fancy, then its largely pointless. journalism has higher aspirations than that.

  3. manuel buencamino

    Please ask Ado Paglinawan and Ernie del Rosario to show us the formula. Napaka-general ng statements nila, pakita nila yun formula para makita natin kung totoo nga ang sinasabi nila. Kilala ko si Ado, magkasama noong araw sa Washington, mabait siya at well-meaning na tao, pero public relations ang field niya sa pagkaalala ko so medyo nagulat ako na ngayon cited na siya ni Rene Azurin bilang isang expert sa mathematical formulas.

  4. Pablo Manalastas

    The 60%-30%-10% LP-UNA-ETC vote distribution can be easily explained by the statistical Law of Large Numbers, instead of prematurely attributing such to some Comelec-led “conspiracy”. We all did some stat in college, or just in case you have forgotten, we can always check Wikipedia:

    “In probability theory, the law of large numbers (LLN) is a theorem that describes the result of performing the same experiment a large number of times. According to the law, the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value, and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed.”

    Our election is like some big experiment in which the electoral choices of the people are determined. Naturally, the bigger the number of votes canvassed, the closer you get to the true will of the people.

    The correct test to determine a “conspiracy” is NOT to check the national averages to see how close to 60-30-10 we can get, because this is exactly what the law of large numbers tells us that we will get. The more correct indicator of a conspiracy is if we get the same 60-30-10 figures in a precinct-by-precinct comparison, provided that the precinct figures were used to get the national canvass.

    Just my PHP0.02 worth.

    • GabbyD

      yeah, i agree with this. i mentioned it above too, but focusing on individual candidates.

      infact, the law of large numbers helps stabilize results when you are looking at aggregate data. you should see more variation at individual candidates, across municipalities.

      DJB has a graph on individual candidates, and they arent really constant initially. only after a few rounds were they constant, as is consistent with law of large numbers.

  5. Ado Paglinawan

    Hi Boom, it’s been a long time. That’s right we were together in Washington DC. And the last time we saw each other was during Manolo’s wake at Mt. Carmel parish.

    My first encounter with extensive computer usage was when a group of PR practitioners from San Beda, including Melvin Martin, Sonny Aguirre and I, banded together to form a private quick-count for Cory Aquino for the 1986 elections. The boutique-type operations
    was financed by the Ayalas and housed at the old Makati Stock Exchange bldg at the corner of Ayala and Makati ave.

    Because it had the support of the Ayalas, our forward deployment receiving data from all Cory Aquino for President Movement and UNIDO watchers from all over the Philippines was all branches of the Bank of Philippine Islands nationwide.

    This enabled us to have the best headsup of how much lead or loss the municipalities were showing for Mrs. Aquino. As the Comelec was intentionally delaying its own national canvass to favor former president Marcos, we already knew the final output more or less where Cory would lose by a close margin.

    This headsup enabled the CAPM to be two steps ahead of Malacanang in fast forwarding our political strategems, up until the timely intervention of Edsa One. Mind you, we were merely using Lotus for our spreadsheets and monitoring summaries.

    Needless to say, that and many more contributions as a political PR professional to help Cory become president were the key factors that propelled my being appointed by Mrs. Aquino as attache to the Philippine Embassy with Ambassador Pelaez.

    Mrs. Aquino assumed the presidency on February 26, 1986 and Ambassador Pelaez and I landed at Dulles International on April 13, short of two months thereafter.

    As you know pursuing higher studies while in Washington DC was very tempting at that time. I finally got a scholarship from the Embassy to pursue continuing studies in international public relations from George Washington University under a program run by the Public Relations Society of America, an organization I have been a member since 1988.

    So this validates your first observation. But how did I get an IT credential?

    You know how many people go in and out the Embassy bearing all kinds of proposals, mostly just trying to cold canvass but some serious. The Ambassador called me to his office one afternoon it was here asking me to join discussions about a proposal for a satellite receiving station for the Philippines corresponding to LandSat of The United States and Spot of France. This led to further integration of the Tiros sats from Japan for realtime meteorology.

    Since I could hardly contribute to the discussions because I came to the United States in 1986 knowing only Wordstar and Lotus programs, I again suggested to Tito Maning to send me to pursue two years of information technology at the USDA Graduate Studies along Independence Avenue.

    It was not ivy league nor top-rated, but I soon found out as I was already going to class that it presented an environment far advance that even exceeded MIT in Cambridge because the instructors there were on-hand system practitioners mostly from the Departments of Defense, and Finance, NASA,IRS, FBI and other leading edge high-volume US government computer users.

    The language of satellites is ADA, but before that I had to start from basic programming, COBOL, Simula, Algol, Pascal, Fortran and whole gamut of softwares.

    The satellite receiving station was fully developed by almost the end of my term in the Embassy. After almost four years prepwork, it was all set to construct the facility in cooperation with NAMRIA on top of Mt. Agumid in Barotac Nuevo in the province of Iloilo – the center of the Philippines as determined by GPS.

    Backed up by the Ambassador and the Philippine scientific society both government and private, I secured a $100M grant from the Sultan of Brunei, in exchange for cooperation for thermal maps and services.

    The project folded up because when Bolkiah handed over the check to Mrs. Aquino during his state visit to the Philippines, nothing was again heard about the money. The explanation given was that it was used for budgetary purposes. Had this gone through as planned I would have substantially changed my career to high technology. Instead I kept the practice of this capability of mine under low profile, while engaging more visibly still in public relations and strategic consulting.

    For IT applications in the Philippines, I have been collaborating with Hermenegildo Estrella, one of the pioneers of electronic data processing in this country. I have been helping him behind the scenes since he was called by the Philippine senate to testify regarding the Garci scandals in 2004.

    During the 2010 elections, I came to expand my in-country IT exposure developing more friends like Nelson Celis, Toti Casino, Maricor Akol, etc. who have been running the Philippine Computer Society. New collaborators in the person of Ernie del Rosario, former IT chief of Comelec and Lex Muga of the Ateneo came about in 2013.

    I have known Gus Lagman and Rene Azurin even while I was still in San Beda high school, where I also came to know Rene Saguisag and Sixto Brilliantes.

  6. Ado Paglinawan

    Now, mainly for Gabby and Angela’s benefit, lets cut the chase to the smoking gun.

    Before everything let me clarify that our base data all comes from the Comelec. None of the data we used, we sourced ourselves. I am saying this disclaimer early so that if any of our analysis proves wrong at some later day, it just means that the Comelec publications have been poofed.

    1. Please understand carefully that the process of PCOS transmissions by law should have been shot to the municipalities first before it were to be sent anywhere else. The Comelec announced that this will not be implemented in 2013, and that the PCOS transmissions will simultaneously be sent direct to the municipalities and the Transparency Servers, one in the custody of PPCRV and the second care of

    This is very clear from the flow chart designed by Namfrel based on the Comelec pronouncement.

    2.The Law of Large Numbers, after much brouhaha, was never even applicable to the inputs of 76,000 PCOS machines from all over the country.

    Why? because as the Comelec report of the first sixteen canvasses corresponding to 58,000 PCOS transmissions, there were no large numbers received at all per canvass.

    The sources of each canvass came in clusters of provinces, cities and municipalities and foreign offices. So James Jimenez, Comelec spokesman was lying to his teeth when he told TV cameras that the incoming transmissions from the first 58,000 PCOS machines were all “random”.

    Random means “first-in, first out” in real time. But how can they be random at all when the the first to the sixteenth came from clustered areas per canvass.

    In fact this is the first smoking gun that the PCOS transmissions from the clustered precinct level was short-stopped before it reached the Transparency Server, for the least intention of “clustering” them.


    In fact one does not have to be a rocket scientist to perform the analysis to decipher the pattern.

    All we had to do is use Microsoft Excel that is capable of mathematical computations and best yet charting. You can even choose how your chart will come out, line or bar etc.

    Using each Comelec canvass,we transported the Comelec canvass data to an Excel spreadsheet, grouping the Team Pnoy, UNA and others respectively in three different colors.. The sums were also generated by Excel, and so were the charts.

    We merely transferred to the Excel spreadsheet the data derived from the Comelec canvass.

    4. The mother chart was a line chart from the first to the sixteenth national canvass. Result 60-30-10.

    4a. This was followed by an alternate instruction to change the chart to a bar chart. Of course since the base data were the same, the result also exhibited 60-30-10 but in bar form that looked like matchsticks placed side by side.

    4b. We then made another chart, this time representing totals of various areas all over the Philippines available at that time: Caloocan, Malabon, Marikina, Paranaque, Quezon City and Valenzuela in the national capital region. Benguet, Kalinga, Ilocos Sur, Batanes and Nueva Vizcaya for CAR and Ilocos. Bataan, Pampanga, Batangas, Rizal, Occidental Mindoro in the Tagalog corridor. Camarines and Sorsogon in Bicol. Romblon, Guimaras and Capiz, Bohol, Lapulapu, Biliran and Northern Samar in the Visayas. Zamboanga Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Davao Norte, Davao oriental in Regions 9-11 respectively. South Cotabato,Maguindanao, Agusan Sur and Surigao Sur in Region 12 and Caraga. The result 60-30-10.

    5. At this point, Pablo Manalastas, Mike Beduya and Michael Purugganan (NYU) came up with the Law of Large Numbers all with a caveat that the 60-30-10 flatline would not reflect the same pattern if our investigation carries on to the municipal or using smaller samples from the precinct levels.

    So the different watchdogs and advocacies formed an adhoc Technical Working Committee that we nicknamed Techworx or TWX to dig deeper. What we expected was a more probable showing of sharp peaks and valleys, charts crisscrossing as we go lower and lower.

    5a. We miserably failed. What we discovered instead was the second smoking gun!

    The 60-30-10 thread is true to the regional, provincial, city and municipality levels. In fact it is true up to the precinct level.
    Two interesting observations came about:

    5b. The first was that in the province of Bohol, Tagbilaran City and all its munipalities outputed 60-30-10.

    The second was even more glaring. Mindanao had been having 8 to 12-hour brownouts since October of 2012 and this contributed to the fact that administration rallies in its key cities were all almost empty except for the hakots, while any other rally even by the smaller political parties were well attended.

    Well, Bislig, Tandag, Tangub, Cabadbaran, Butuan, mati, Davao City, Digos, Kidapawan, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Valencia, El Salvador, Ozamis, Zamboanga and Isabela (Basilan) results? 60-30-10.

    6. This is statistical improbability at its worst.For the first time in the history of the Philippines, the people “voted” like robots or zombies, in complete disregard of psychographics and sociographics, geographical locations, ethnicities, political bailiwicks and other nuances.

    Remember this is not even an election where block voting was employed.

    6.1 The only conclusion could only be threefold:

    First, the Transparency Servers did not receive inputs directly from the PCOS machines. Second, or they were defaulted upon arrival from being displayed. Third, What came out instead was in favor of a pre-programmed report that was already in the Transparency Server.

    6.2 The first symptom of this scenario was at 5pm of May 14 when election watchdogs called the attention of PPCRV that the Server was already showing 12 million votes canvassed or 23% of the votes, when only 1,418 precincts were yet counted. That less than 2%.

    6.3 This brings us to the third smoking gun.

    On May 18, the Comelec stopped on the 16th canvass when 129 of 304 Certificates of Canvass already posted 39,898,992 votes counted. 129 was only 42% of the total COCs, with 175 or 58% more to be counted, but 100% more or less of the total votes cast were already entered.

    If we extrapolate the rest of the COCs on a perfect analogy, that’s 129:39,898,992=175:x.
    that’s 129x=39,898,992 multiplied by 175
    that’s x= 54,127,907
    54,127,907+39,898,992= 94,026,899 total votes canvassed

    This would mean that every man, women and child, even those just born, voted, as our present total population is almost 100 million.

    7. So far the last smoking gun is the Random Manual Audit.

    First, it was not random at all. The clustered precincts were pre-selected by Comelec. The process was not started in the regulated 4 hours after the closing of the precincts and worst took more than 45 days to complete.

    Second, by her own admission on cam with GMA News TV, Tita de Villa confessed that they had to reduce the threshold in the 2013 election in order to get the accuracy rating closer to the 99.995% required by the Terms of Reference by the Comelec Bids and Awards. This is the same standard used by the banking sector in the Philippines.

    Comelec Chairman corroborated this admission, also on the same TV station, by saying that they reduced the threshold from 50% shaving of the oval to just 20%, a 60% substantial reduction.

    With this arbitrary alteration the accuracy rating, according to PPCRV still summed up short of the requirement reaching only 99.9747%. A number that might still spell the difference in the last three senatorial posts but in majority of the other contested positions in the local areas.

    Oh, before I forgot. Third, both automated and manual count were also coinciding at 60-30-10 pattern.

    I rest my case.

    • manuel buencamino

      I am interested in the number of electoral protests pre 2010( let’s say 1992 – 2007),and then 2010 and 2013. Has the number shown an increase or decrease?

    • jojie

      If ” both automated and manual count were also coinciding at 60-30-10 pattern”, then, what is so anomolous in the election result that gave Grace Poe the number 1 position when she did not even fare in the top five of pre-election surveys??