THE call of President Rodrigo Duterte to ban Smartmatic and look for a new system free of fraud earns overwhelming support from different sectors of the society, including the increasing demand to bring former Commission on Elections Chairman Atty. Andres ‘Andy’ Bautista back to the country.
The hearing conducted by the Senate committee on electoral reforms, and by the joint congressional oversight committee on the automated election system held recently at the Senate revealed that there is compelling evidence that the 2013 and 2016 election process presided over by Bautista and Smartmatic as the technology provider was full of anomalies.
According to one of the lawmakers present during the hearing, the absence of Bautista was noticeable because his predecessor at the Comelec, Sixto Brillantes Jr., was present during the hearings and being held accountable for his command responsibility committed during the 2010 elections.
It was recalled that an impeachment complaint was filed against Bautista on August 23 for neglecting his duties that led to the massive data breach of the Comelec website two months before the actual elections that led to the issue of a perceptible 60 – 30 – 10 schemes of votes assigned in favor of the administration candidates.
The latter filed his resignation to Duterte on October 11, 2017 but the House plenary impeached Bautista. Duterte then accepted his resignation effective immediately on October 23.
Bautista was once reported to have met Duterte at Malacañan and confessed the connivance of Smartmatic and some corrupt officials of Comelec to steal the presidency including the reduction of almost five million votes of the latter.
Bautista was being hounded by several issues of the two elections under his leadership including the tampering of the election process, vote counting machines that have already been tested and sealed were already transmitting a day before the elections, the establishment of an illegal fourth server, missing or tampered scanned ballot images which led to the sequence number to exceed against the total number of ballots cast and the signatures of those who voted did not match those who are registered.
In 2016, former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. was ahead by more than one million votes as vice-president when the transmission of votes stopped and one of the bases for his election protest filed at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
Meanwhile, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson and lawyer of former senator Bongbong Marcos, is requesting the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee (JCOC) to cancel the passport or travel document of Bautista and make him liable for the massive election fraud, together with Smartmatic, because the Filipino people want justice, and this is the right time to unmask the corrupt officials of Comelec.
“It is the solemn duty of our lawmakers investigating the sins of Smartmatic and Comelec to ensure that all personalities who figured in 2013, 2016 and 2019 elections be made to account and held responsible for all their actions, prevent cheating and fraud from again undermining the coming 2022 presidential elections and guarantee to the Filipino people that it shall be free from foreign intervention and manipulation”, said Rodriguez.
To date, several organized groups appeals to President Duterte to pursue his bid to wipe the election fraud in the country and protect the integrity of the upcoming 2022 elections.
Even the clergy and election watchdogs rally behind Duterte to perpetually ban Smartmatic because the votes were “not being counted truthfully” and Filipinos “no longer want that Smartmatic.”
According to Kontra Daya convenor Danilo Arao, the 2019 midterm poll was the worst among the elections conducted, marred by many glitches such as VCMs and SD cards malfunctioning and the seven-hour data outage which is a clear violation of Republic Act 9369 which mandates that the automated election should be “transparent, credible, fast, accurate and reflective of the genuine will of the people.”