Saturday, April 18, 2009

All for Villar: Cayetano offers P100 Million of government money to anyone who can derail Poll Automation in 2010

(My apologies to friends whose bosses and clients may get burned by my opinion in this post.)
This is what pissed me off.
Pera pera na lang talaga. Dahil sa pera, babuyin ang lahat dahil sa padrino niya, pati ang dapat sanang SAGRADONG BOTO NG MGA MAMAMAYAN.
CAYETANO CHALLENGES HACKERSHack poll machines and win P100M
By Maila Ager, Michael Lim Ubac,
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:09:00
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has filed a resolution setting aside P100 million as an incentive to anyone who can convincingly demonstrate the weakness of the automated poll system.
Cayetano, at a press conference Friday, said that if any IT expert can establish that the system to be used in the 2010 polls is not secure from fraud and tampering, “Comelec should cancel the contract, save the P11 billion and sue for damages the contractor in the event of such successful hacking.”
He said he would rather revert to the manual counting of votes if the computerized system would lead to wholesale cheating.
Cayetano said the resolution, which he would file on Monday, was in response to a statement by a Comelec official challenging cyber security experts to test the system for weaknesses.

Some time during the fourth quarter of 2006 till March 2007, I and a couple of my friends began campaigning for the immediate implementation of the Amended Automated Election Law or RA 9369. The law had just recently been enacted and one of the first things that it mandated was for the Comelec (then under Benjamin Abalos) to conduct pilot testing of the Automated Election System.

The Comelec, under the newly enacted law, was mandated to conduct the testing of automated polls in six cities and six provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in during the 2007 elections. Inspite of the mandate, Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos refused to conduct pilot testing of the automated polls. Abalos made up all sorts of reasons why it could not be done and despite being soundly refuted at every turn, he still did not implement pilot testing of the automated polls.
Oddly enough, Abalos launched the testing of Internet Voting for overseas workers in Singapore when there was no law that expressly and explicitly sanctioned the conduct of such a practice. Tens of millions of pesos were spent for the exercise where only a few thousand were able to vote.
Meanwhile, as the election season in 2007 opened up in January, my friends and I mounted a nationwide mock poll using automated election machines (we used the Botong Pinoy system, which is a DRE machine with touch screen monitors and barcoded print outs of ballots).
We brought automated polling machines to 6 provinces and 6 cities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Around 1,800 students participated in the automated mock elections which were held at the Don Mariano Marcos University, Northern La Union Campus; Don Mariano Marcos University, Mid La Union Campus; University of Makati; Negros Maritime College in Dumaguete City; University of the Philippine Los Banos, Laguna; and Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City.
Polling was conducted and the results were made known publicly through radio, TV, and newspapers. It proved that the testing of automated polls could be done with volunteers, a little money and a lot of passion for honest and clean elections.
Bit despite this, we were completely dismayed when Abalos still refused to conduct pilot testing for automated elections in the 2007 elections.
It was a good thing that Senator Richard Gordon, despite the setback that would have derailed Nationwide Automated Elections in 2010, continued to fight for it. He rode the Oversight Committee on Automated Elections, had automated polls conducted in ARMM in place of the pilot testing that was supposed to have taken place in 2007, and pushed Comelec to make sure that Automated Elections would be conducted.
We also have to thank the NBN ZTE probe for forcing the resignation of Benjamin Abalos from the Comelec, thereby eliminating one of the biggest road blocks to Automated Elections.
Anyway, the Comelec now under Melo, has proceeded with the Automation of the 2010 polls and it would be a sure sign that our country will finally be rid of the sort of elections that gave rise to the Hello Garci controversy in 2005.
The controversy came about after tapes of a woman and a man (purportedly President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Virgilio Garcillano) were heard talking about a deal to win the national elections by 1 million votes through illegal means. This was proof, inadmissable as it was, that wholesale cheating had been done to ensure the victory of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo over Fernando Poe Jr.
Automating the elections in 2010 will ensure that not even the richest Presidential candidate in the Philippines can do what Gloria Macapagal Arroyo did in 2004. It will end wholesale electoral fraud.
Of recent date, we have heard former Comelec Chairman Christian Monsod go against poll automation, proposing that teachers go back to the manual tally of ballots instead of using a machines that are far more accurate and just as well proposed the use of indelible ink instead of a biometric system to thwart multiple voters as well as flying voters.
Monsod, whose claim to fame is sullied by the fact that under his watch, Miriam Defensor Santiago lost to Fidel Ramos through massive electoral fraud -- using the manual vote counting and indelible ink he is proposing.
In any case, more recently, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's offer of P100 Million for anyone who can prove that the auomated election system can be hacked is laying the predicate for scuttling automated elections in 2010.
Normally, security testing for such systems are done in an effort to improve the security features. However, Cayetano wants white hat hacking to be done in an effort to discredit the automated election system and thereby stop automated elections in 2010.
This will obviously benefit his benefactor, Presidential Candidate and Senator Manny Villar who has already made a big deal about being ready to use billions of pesos to assure his victory in 2010. Already in campaign mode (with TV ads, radio commercials, and posters) ahead of the start of the electoral campaign season in 2010, Villar seems bent on buying his way into the Presidency just as he bought his way to becoming a House Speaker and Senate President.
However, the only way he'll win is if the 2010 elections can be rigged. This can only happen if the automated elections system is not in place and chief operators within Comelec can be freely engage once more in large scale vote manipulation.
Villar has already bought up Presidential survey results to lay the predicate for a plausible win in 2010. One wonders whatelse he'll buy up.
Mind you, under the OEC, candidates running for a national position are only allowed to spend around 200 to 250 million pesos. Where is Villar going to spend the rest of his billions?
If you want honest, free, and credible elections support AUTOMATED ELECTIONS in 2010.

1 comment:

Jonah Tan said...

I think Sen Cayetano's resolution is forcing or creating a criminal.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...