Not an encouraging start for 75 year old Jose Melo.
Melo said his stint in the Comelec will be all about the success of the 2010 elections.
He batted for the computerization of the 2010 elections but "if not, we should at least have peaceful, credible and honest elections."
Melo said he believes the Comelec would regain the people’s trust in the light of its involvement in the "Hello Garci" scandal, the anomalous purchase of the automated machines and the electoral fraud in Maguindanao in 2007.
"The Comelec has good people. Leadership counts a lot. I just hope to be an example for them to follow," he said.
He said he would adopt a hands-off stand on the re-opening the "Hello Garci" case.
"Personally, I don’t think the Comelec should be handling this matter. It also cannot be given to Congress because it could be politicized. Rather, there should be an independent commission that will handle it that will be given the proper funding and proper power to call witnesses," he said.
How can one talk about reforms and bringing credibility back to the institution if the man who is tasked to restore order in the COMELEC would rather put his head in the sand? If somebody is appointed to fix COMELEC's credibility and corruption problem, I expect that person to ruthlessly go after the cheaters and the dagdag bawas operators.
In ordinary times, when an institution is corrupted and used by the power holders to steal elections, you remove the source of the corrupting influence (Arroyo) and you replace the head of the COMELEC with somebody who is going to get tough in going after the corrupt operators at the COMELEC. The fact that mr. Melo refuses to do it is BS.
But these are not ordinary times. Because Arroyo is still in power. And Melo is not that person to clean up the COMELEC.
I guess it's business as usual, and the cheaters will not be punished.