Daily Tribune – All probes, no results

By Ninez Cacho-Olivares | Daily Tribune

With the senators and congressmen recently having been declared winners by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), expect the elected to soon sit back and conveniently forget the big transgressions committed by the poll body and its commissioners, not to mention some of the cheats who are to sit in the new Congress.

This always happens after every election and won’t ever change things, no matter how many joint congressional committees and probes are scheduled.

In a few days, another scheduled probe on the Comelec will come about, but its many “miraculous” occurrences, such as malfunctions of the Smartmatic machines and the long delays in transmissions to the so-called transparency servers that are hardly transparent, along with other Comelec–made miracles will be on display, but will yield nothing. Again.

This is the main reason the Comelec and the usual poll body cheating syndicate that surfaces every election year, get away with all these blatant “irregularities.”

More often than not, the joint congressional probe conducted after elections tends to point to automated fraud, yet end up with nothing since the legislators usually conduct the probe for grandstanding purposes but not even one bill from both houses each is ever brought to the floor for the enactment of a law.

But does this upcoming panel really expect to come out with a bill, when Congress closes its doors fairly soon? Obviously, this is all for show.

After an automated election, there is always talk of reverting to manual elections, or the hybrid type, which has both manual counting as well as automated counting. Yet, nothing, but nothing of this sort ever translates to a legislative measure, which is why, year after election year, the nation is faced with the lemon of the Smartmatic machines and the highly-suspected cheating machine — the transmission style that brings in suspected votes to the non-transparent servers that suddenly conks out in the dead of the night.

On the practical side, it really is better if the nation reverts to manual polls, since the number of senatorial and congressional candidates can be cut short. Neither can there be an over vote that would cancel the votes given to other candidates.

And the ballot, being for manual purposes, need not even be one to two meters long with the tiny font the elderly, even with thick eyeglasses, will hardly be able to read.

This is of course impossible in hybrid polls, since there will have to be automated counting alongside a manual count.

In the matter of having too many candidates — whether senatorial or congressional — the Comelec qualifies bets, even when clearly they never make it and it has to be asked why the poll body still accepts them as candidates when clearly they are just nuisance candidates.

Or perhaps, if the nation ever decides to amend the highly-flawed 1987 Constitution, perhaps it would be best to have a provision that can bring about the US style of primaries by way of eliminating candidates who don’t make it to the primaries as this style makes it possible for a party to have just one candidate to field. Or perhaps, this can be written in an election law.

The other way could take the French and other European models where there are at least two elections with just one winner from two getting higher percentage emerging from the second balloting.

However, this would be almost impossible in this country, given the fact that holding elections every three years can be too expensive especially since this would be two more elections to qualify presidential and senatorial bets and worse, there will be double cheating done, that’s for sure.

If the joint congressional committee is really serious, the legislative panelists should demand answers from the Comelec Commissioners and its chair, why, for instance, do their decisions in qualifying candidates, clearly go against their own rules and yes, even the decisions of the Supreme Court (SC)?

Why, to cite an example, did the Comelec en banc, qualify a well-known husband and his wife, who share a conjugal home, to run in different districts when the High Court had already ruled on this issue, disqualifying such husband and wife couples running?

And why, to cite another example, did these Comelec commissioners qualify a two-termer senator to run, that would give that senator a third term, against which both the Constitution and the SC had already ruled?

These questions are not likely to be asked by the senators, especially when some of them sit in the joint congressional probe.

This is probably the reason nothing ever comes out from that panel and the reason the Comelec can continue to break its own rules and established decisions from the SC.

Only in the Philippines!

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