sure, automated counts votes faster, but it is also easier/faster to fix elections from the inside. and AFAIK, chairman melo has not done anything to investigate or remove the 2004 operators who worked for garci inside the comelec. he did not clean house.
doing the automated system without credible election officials in charge is like building a swanky new henhouse while retaining the services of the fox to guard it.
Catching vote discrepancies and verifying the count would be almost impossible. NAMFREL and other watchdog groups from the CBCP becomes redundant/useless. Something like this will never ever happen again. if you did not catch it, it never happened. ignorance is bliss.
hindi kasalanan ng manual kung may dayaan sa 2004. manual made it harder for them and more risky to fix the results. kinaylangan ng administration ang sangkatutak na comelec at military operators para ayusin ang eleksyon. hindi pa maganda ang pagkakagawa, according to one general. alam nating may dayaan, sa 2004 canvassing pa lang halata na. pero walang nakulong. lusot ang mga mandaraya. dahil corrupt ang gobierno at accomplice ang CBCP.
UPDATE: Armida Siguion Reyna:
You ask a question about the transparency of the bidding process, of how the Comelec granted the bid to Total Information Management (TIM) and Smartmatic, and right away you get a defensive answer still in the form of another question: "Bakit, ayaw mo ba ng automation?"
Carlitos clarified that he was for automation, but not merely automation per se. Accuracy remained the highest value, as opposed to automated elections nga, automated din ang daya. He mentioned what IT experts in Princeton University had done to prove it was possible to put in, or pre-load, information into a computer that could alter results of a vote, and from there suggested it best for the Comelec to allow local IT experts to fully examine TIM-Smartmatic hardware to settle once and for all if hacking was possible.
When Rafanan reacted that wasn’t necessary as the Smartmatic process had been tested in other parts of the world, the soft-spoken Bahague countered the factors in, say, the US, would be different from here, iba raw ang testing sa US, dapat, iba rin dito. In other words, Carlitos exclaimed, walang Virgilio Garcillano sa America, so iba talaga ang testing doon, sa testing dito.
No reaction there, from Rafanan. I didn’t expect him to bowl over with laughter, a chuckle would have sufficed. Nothing doing, and that’s when I realized he must have been nervous. He then proceeded to insist the Comelec had been for the past few months working to weed out undesirables from its rank-and-file and that for me was cause to worry. I didn’t want to be unfair to him, but I couldn’t help but feel he wasn’t altogether being truthful.
Na-diyaryo na dapat ‘yon, na-bandera sa lahat ng media, kung tutoong naglilinis ang Comelec ng bakuran, with one year to go before the presidential elections of 2010.
I mean, where is lawyer Lintang Bedol, the election supervisor of Maguindanao linked to the alleged anomalous "win" of Miguel Zubiri over Koko Pimentel? What’s happened to Rey Sumalipao, lawyer Pebo, names attached to the fraud of 2004 and yet allowed to "operate" in 2007? Garci several times in his recorded conversation with "the voice of the President, but it is not she who is talking," as per Mike Defensor, made references to having to kidnap or salvage recalcitrant Comelec low-rank officials — has he even been made to at least clarify what he meant by those horrific statements?
And Benjamin Abalos Jr., the former chairman, who vowed to "clean his name," kaya na nga raw at nag-resign. He didn’t do anything to investigate Garcillano, and took a further plunge into degradation by getting involved in the NBN-ZTE deal. The last we’ve heard from him is that he’s flippin’ "borjers" at the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club and in a stall somewhere in Boni Avenue.
The problem of the Comelec then was credibility, the problem of the Comelec today is still credibility.
It’s a credibility issue that has nothing to do with if indeed TIM was only "fronting" to be the local "60 percent" of a "60-40" investment requirement, or with how TIM and Smartmatic like lovers broke up and kissed and made up the next day, and refused to tell what exactly happened between them.
It’s a credibility matter that runs from Comelec top to bottom, in every possible way. We’ve heard of the abominable dagdag-bawas, there are still other tricks from within, designed to take advantage of the naïve candidate. Such as city-level Comelec officers brazenly refusing to release Comelec checker IDs shortly before an election, because "masakit ang braso, nangangalay, hindi makapirma ng ID." The candidate pays them, voila! Bigla na silang nakakapirma ulit. Or Comelec "brokers" who go around offering their own "protection" services to candidates.
If current Chairman Jose Melo, na former Supreme Court justice pa mandin, wants to send the message that under his leadership the Comelec has become aboveboard, the first thing he needs to do is go back to prosecuting past known "operators" from within and putting them in jail, Bedol, Sumalipao and Garci included.
When people like ComelecAKO's postigo luna and COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez continue to claim that Garcillano did nothing wrong in 2004, you have to question their judgment and credibility.
MORE common sense from Raul Pangalangan:
The manual writing of the ballot—no different from the manual filling in of the boxes in the PCOS plan—is not the cause of the delay. The manual counting at the precinct level is usually completed within hours after the end of election day.The PCOS computers are infinitely faster but astronomically less transparent. But the greatest delay—and greatest opportunity for cheating—is in the transmittal, collection and final tally of the votes from precincts at every level. That is the stage that we must computerize—and we wouldn’t need fancy optical reading machines for that, just your basic wired PCs that will transmit and collate the precinct, municipal/city and provincial results. But by that stage, we already have the record of votes against which we can audit and counter-check what the central computers are doing.