Conspiracies

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COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. thinks there’s a conspiracy afoot to discredit the Philippine electoral system. He’s identified the supposed conspirators as “those behind” the Automated Election System (AES) Watch, a coalition that has about 40 organizations and individuals as members, among them academics, non-government organizations and information technology (IT) experts.

In one more demonstration of the truth that you can’t be too good in doing your job in this country without being damned for it, Brillantes was in effect blaming AES Watch for being too systematic and too focused in its criticism of Comelec and the system over which it presides. He’s particularly piqued by the AES Watch claim that the Comelec’s conduct of the 2013 mid-term elections was even worse than its problem-plagued management of the 2010 Presidential elections. So annoyed was Brillantes that at one point he even threatened to sue Comelec critics, among them, probably especially, AES Watch.

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Mock elections

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NO, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) wasn’t describing the one activity many Filipinos think makes this country a democracy. It wasn’t mocking the elections over which it has oversight — although maybe it should have been.

What the Comelec did was conduct a trial run of the entire ballot-casting process, from the initialization of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines to the transmission of votes from the precinct level to the municipal canvassing centers, then to the provincial canvassing centers, and finally, to the national Comelec computer server.

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