National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel)

BANTAY NG BAYAN

Archive for March 2010

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Written by namfrel

March 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Bantay ng Bayan Statement – March 25, 2010 – How sure are you that your vote will be counted in the automated count?

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March 25, 2010
46 days before Election Day

With the automation of the May 2010 elections, the days of the yellow metal ballot boxes that used to be protected by concerned citizens are history. The days of manual tara-tara or tabulation in counting the votes are over. The Operation Quick Count conducted by NAMFREL at La Salle Greenhills is unnecessary. But can we trust the machines? Can we trust the count yielded by the machines?

In other electronic dealings like withdrawing cash from your bank’s Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or buying lotto tickets, one gets a paper receipt, or at the very least, an onscreen notification of one’s transaction.

On May 10, 2010, under the automated election system that COMELEC will administer in more than 75,000 precincts all over the country, the voter will not get any paper receipt or on-screen notification assuring him/her that his intent was what the PCOS machine captured. The COMELEC disabled these features in the machines for what? Speed? Economy? Expediency?

The last remaining safeguard of the accuracy of the count was to have been NAMFREL’s offer to COMELEC at no expense to the COMELEC and as a natural extension of its operation quick count expertise to conduct a random manual audit (RMA) of the count in certain precincts, provided in the automation law itself (RA 9369). NAMFREL’sposition is to conduct the RMA right after the electronic count before the proclamation of winners. COMELEC is leaning towards conducting RMA after the proclamation when any discrepancy between the manual versus the electronic count shall not be recognized until much, much later. COMELEC denied the petition of NAMFREL to conduct RMA.

Clearly, COMELEC is choosing speed over reflecting the true will of the people, speed over transparency & auditability.

Download the statement HERE

Written by namfrel

March 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

Bantay ng Bayan Statement, March 18, 2010 – An election we can believe in

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March 18, 2010
53 days before Election Day

We admire the COMELEC for its courage and determination in anticipating total success of the automated elections in May 2010. Indications however show that it is dangerous and reckless for the COMELEC to assume it can achieve 100% automated elections throughout the country, because many factors impinge on the automation process: eg power, telecommunications, transportation, reliability of outsourced or contracted services, etc.

NAMFREL-CBCP-NASSA enjoins the COMELEC to prepare and release guidelines to all its BEI members, the watchers, and the public on what steps shall be taken in case automation does not work in certain precincts on Election Day. Our respect for the COMELEC will increase if it shows readiness and preparedness to handle all likely
scenarios pre- and post election, but most of all on Election Day. Its credibility will be damaged and its lack of vision will become obvious if it insists on implementing 100% automation and not prepare for other likely outcomes.

COMELEC must take pains to communicate these to those who seek its response. Many watchdogs have the best intentions to help because every right thinking Filipino realizes the high stakes of this election. Constructive suggestion from NAMFREL must be welcome because it has the expertise, integrity and reputation in working out truly honest elections. For all the billions the country is investing in this election and the unspeakable consequences of its failure, the COMELEC owes it to the Filipino people to work hard to earn their trust and deliver to them an election they can believe in.

Download the statement HERE

Written by namfrel

March 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Namfrel: Number of flying voters higher than Comelec estimate

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By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections recently revealed that there were around 700,000 double or multiple registrants on the national voters’ list.

But private election watchdogs and a statistician said the number could be higher, citing population figures from 2007 and the Comelec’s registration numbers as of March 2009.

In particular, the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) and a census expert cited the “unrealistic figures” for population and registrants in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, described by many as the country’s cheating capital.

Continue reading the article HERE

Written by namfrel

March 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Bantay ng Bayan

NAMFREL expresses concern with country’s readiness for automated elections

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With less than 60 days to go before more than 50 million Filipinos go to the polls the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) has expressed growing concerns about the country’s preparedness for its first ever automated elections.

It also questions whether or not the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will meet its deadline to ensure the success of the elections.

Every Filipino would like to believe Comelec will deliver an honest and credible election but there is a growing feeling of mistrust among the public which has fueled a great deal of speculation that the elections will fail, seriously derailing the development of a mature democracy for the Philippines.

From the very beginning questions were raised when the contract for the Automated Election System (AES) was awarded to Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM). We have seen Comelec extend tremendous leniency to Smartmatic not only in terms of front loaded payments and fees but accommodating major changes to the contract that sometimes cross the boundaries of what is legal.

Deadlines are not being enforced and the required levels of accuracy have not been attained in any of its pilot tests.

Read the whole statement HERE

Written by namfrel

March 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

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Written by namfrel

March 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Bantay ng Bayan