Istambay sa Mindanao

Personal blog of MindaNews' Walter I. Balane. Visit www.mindanews.com for more news, views and information on Mindanao.

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Location: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

I'm Walter Balane. I am a journalist based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. I initiated the group called Atong Press (www.atongpress.ning.com) for press freedom and responsibility and media education in Bukidnon.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Opinion: On punishing election cheats vs. automation

From www.pcij.org :Punishing the cheats, not election automation, is real solution - local IT pioneer

WHILE acknowledging that automation has a role to play in modernizing our elections, which remains a pitiful throwback from the first-ever held local polls in Bulacan more than a century ago, local information technology pioneer Roberto Verzola thinks the real problem does not lie with having an antiquated electoral system but with the fact that the cheats don’t get punished at all. (Read the whole text of the PCIJ blog in this URL: http://www.pcij.org/blog/?p=994)

Start of post
I'm excited how the group of Obet Verzola's Halalang Marangal could fiscalize the much-tainted exercise that is elections in the Philippines.

I agree, computerization will not guarantee clean elections. Machines cannot and should not alter the dignity of people and their right to suffrage. I don't think cheats would be deterred from cheating just because the elections are "automated”.

Maybe, if these cheats are not punished, they will only become more clever and could only upgrade their modus operandi with computers around.

It would be even more dangerous to deal with computers, if crooks are behind the monitors, inside CPUs or are moving from one network to another. I think computers work in wonders for elections too. But the people would not be better-off if the problem of cheaters at large still persist. The way I see it, automation could not stand alone in an elections where the problem is not only slow election process, but integrity of electoral institutions like the COMELEC and NAMFREL, as alleged by other groups.

In my point of view, this automation project -- scarred with budget and other concerns--- would not work in that situation.

The first time I've heard about this election watch "third force" was when Obet spoke at the Go Organic Mindanao conference in Davao City in December 2005. He asked me if I know some people who could help organize “NO CHEATS” (as he called it then) in Mindanao. He was looking for someone who could be the face and the driving force to rally behind in Mindanao.

I’m not sure if he talked to the person I recommended to him.

I really do hope they can pull it off and create a domino effect to the whole electorate and electoral process.

End of post

2 Comments:

Anonymous Birch Tree said...

This is good but what's with election stuff this early? Are we even sure if these kinds of "exercise" could be held in 2007?

9:26 AM  
Anonymous kulaskalasanon said...

Unsaon man dili mag istorya about elections nga if plans are followed (kung sundon ang Batakang Balaud) election na baya sa Mayo 2007! minus isa nalang na katuig diba?

10:21 AM  

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