i disagree with conrado de quiros that

… something has changed, and that is the public expectation of cheating. Few now seriously consider we’d be back in Arroyo’s time when it could be expected as a matter of course. Though concerns have been raised about the source code, some clamoring for it to be made public, they have not been of the scale or stridence they were three years ago. And unless there are glaring or eye-popping gaps between expectation and result, the elections will generally be taken, like the previous one, as reasonably clean. 

the only reason that public expectation of cheating is lower than usual is that the voting masses don’t really understand the gobbledygook of source codes and PCOS machines and CF cards, and how they were quite likely manipulated in 2010, and will likely be manipulated on may 13.   this is one of those things about which the public have not been adequately informed, hence, they are in no position to conclude that cheating will or will not happen.  this is one of those times when voters trust their leaders, their candidates, to show them the way, and since candidates aren’t complaining, neither are the voters.  i guess candidates want to stay on the good side of the brilliantes comelec’?

only in the philippines.  in effect, we are taking brillantes’ word for it that the source code and PCOS machines and CF cards can be trusted to count our votes honestly, correctly, never mind that these machines have not undergone rigorous examination and testing and have not been pronounced safe and tamper-proof by our own IT experts, and never mind that brillantes is wanting in credibility, as jarius bondoc intimates..

• Brillantes was election-lawyering for Noynoy Aquino and Jojo Binay in 2010 when the Comelec wrongfully leased 76,000 PCOS units from Smartmatic. “Wrongfully,” because the Venezuelan impostor was a mere system integrator — a middleman. Still the Comelec paid it a whopping P7.2 billion. The Comelec also hired disreputable SysTest, whose license had been suspended for two years for testing fraud.

• Enter Brillantes as Comelec chairman in January 2011. That was when his law firm was collecting P8 million from Smartmatic in behalf of a secret client. Too, the Comelec then was contemplating to buy from Smartmatic 5,000 PCOS units for P600 million for the Muslim Mindanao election (later postponed to synchronize with Election 2013). It’s unclear if Brillantes knew about Smartmatic’s con game and went along with it, or if the firm fooled him too. In March 2012 he bought Smartmatic’s 82,000 earlier leased PCOS units, for P1.8 billion….

and what about this, still from de quiros:  “… unless there are glaring or eye-popping gaps between expectation and result, the elections will generally be taken, like the previous one, as reasonably clean.”

whose expectation?  eye-popping to whom?  the prez?  the veep?  or the voters?

it’s unfortunate that results will be under a cloud of doubt, obviously, for lack of transparency.  unfortunate because there is now a rising consciousness about dynastic politics and how decades of it has only mired the nation in poverty.  it would be great if the results of the may 13 elections were credible, every vote honestly counted, so we could see whether or not such rising awareness has reached significant heights.

if, as in 2010, the usual famous names top yet again the senate polls, regardless of party or no-platform, that would tell us that mainstream and social media and civil society are failing to communicate the message, failing to reach and connect with, the voting masses.  either that, or the voting masses are so poor and so grateful for a sack of rice or free celfone load or a few hundreds in cash, a matter of life and death possibly, so the attitude is, a little now is better than nothing, until the next disaster of an election.

it would be a fantastic surprise if, despite vote-buying and cheating, a few, or even just one or two, new or not-too-famous names were to make it to the winning 12.  what a wonderful message that would send.


  1. I’m struggling to find the right words to describe the image I have of Philippine elections that are characterized by the flippancy of vote-peddling, the broad electorate’s focus on name rather than substance, COMELEC’s knee-jerk dictates being dragged to the Supreme Court for a TRO, and the fragile electronic protocols upon which the fate of the nation rides. The best I can come up with is HOLY SH*T!

  2. GabbyD

    i’m interested in learning more about cheating (alleged) in 2010.

    i saw kontradaya on headstart, and he mentioned that 8k precincts werent counted; a claim denied by the comelec on the same show.

    so, where and what is the evidence that there was cheating in 2010, on the scale claimed by kontradaya?

    i find it irritating that there are so many claims that the media isnt fact checking. this is their f_ing job. so media. like in the headstart interview, walang follow up si karen davilla –wtf, comelec basically denied kontradaya’s most powerful claim. and you end the interview there? who just lied? is there no effort to suss out the truth?

    pls, get to the bottom of them claims and counter claims pls.

  3. manuel buencamino

    2010 may not have been perfect but the public and the candidates found it to be more than good enough. It was the most credible election in the country’s history. At the end of the day, what matters is both the public and the candidates find the election credible, isn’t it?

    The cloud of doubt regarding 2010 is nothing more than smoke blowing out the ass of groups like Kontradaya, the yellow-haters, and the so-called IT experts. The public can see where the smoke is coming from and that’s why the allegations have not gained traction. I have yet to see them present evidence that whatever cheating they allege occurred in 2010 would substantially change the results of that election. They did a good job proving the cheating in 2004 and the cheating against Koko Pimentel in 2007 -complete with powerpoint presentations of anomalies – but their evidence of massive cheating in 2010 is anemic to say the least.

    Sorry but those people have gone beyond contributing something positive to our democratic exercise. They are now fear-mongering and planting the seeds of cynicism. I know they are do-gooders. But that’s what disappoints me most of all because do-gooders, of all people, ought to know that democracy cannot throve in a cynical environment.

        • GabbyD

          about the elections? how can i? i dont know more than columnists and journalists whose job it is to know more about these things in the public interest.

          i’m interested in information and arguments that spring from that information.

          right now, there’s precious little info outthere, and i’m calling out columnists and journalists to set the facts straight.

          i would hope that you would also echo my sentiment as well. there’s too much “he said, she said” type journalism, which is not the kind of writing we should expect.


          • I like your proactive approach, GabbyD. I’ve been disturbed in my Rappler readings from time to time at how factual reports get distorted by emotionalizing the report. For example, a top minister from China decided not to visit the Philippines on an ASEAN tour. The report headline said this was a “snub”. President Aquino’s staff had said it is no big deal, the itinerary is up to the minister. So the hurt-fueeling “snub” in the headline totally misrepresented everything except the headline writer’s low self esteem. So I’ve started complenting Rappler when the deserve it, and dinging them when they deserve to get dinged.

    • manuel buencamino

      Kakatawa naman itong sinabi niya “For what used to be an open or public and verifiable process of tallying the votes, adding them up and forwarding these to the canvassing centers at different levels has now been transformed into a hidden process that has rendered election poll watchers inutile, pre-proclamation protests impossible and post-election audits as laborious and as time-consuming as before.”

      She is endorsing the old manual voting system as open and verifiable. FVR’s election was questionable. 2004 and the last senatorial place in 2007 were certified cheating. Let’s go back to the old manual voting system. Thanks but no thanks. Show me widespread public distrust of AER first and then I’ll listen. But right now all I can see the doubters doing is fear-mongering and planting the seeds of cynicism.