The Manila Times - Foreign-manipulated elections would be worse than no elections in 2019

6 January 2018

By Al S. Vitangcol III | The Manila Times

HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday raised the possibility of cancelling the 2019 midterm national and local elections. According to him, once the Constitution is amended to effect a change into a federal form of government, it will be subjected to a plebiscite, where the people will ratify the new constitution. One of the possible effects will be the cancellation of the 2019 national and local election.

What is new with this scenario? Nothing. At every election, without fail, the specter of a “no-election” scenario is brought up—either by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) insiders or by election pundits.

Comelec, in several instances in the past, claimed that it “had no more time” to procure a new automated election system (AES) and defended its direct contracting with Smartmatic, the Venezuelan election technology provider. Comelec threatens that there will be no elections if there is no election technology provider.

On the other hand, those opposed to the Smartmatic’s counting machines continuously plays the same card of “no elections” if it will be Smartmatic once again. Yet, elections push through as scheduled. It did in 2010. Same in 2013 and 2016. It will continue in 2019.

Looking at it analytically, would it be better if we knew that there are no elections rather than not knowing who were the real “people-elected” officials of the country? The ghost of “Smartmatic-elected” lawmakers and officials will always haunt us – unless the nation stands up against the wholesale foreign outsourcing of our elections and the trampling of our sovereignty.