WHODUNNIT? The Not So Mysterious Powers Behind the Push for Manual Elections

It’s clear as day that there are powerful people behind the push for a return of manual elections.  But who are these people?

Certainly not the Comelec, which has been enjoying higher and higher approval ratings since it successfully automated elections in 2010.

Certainly not the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, which have seen a steady decline in election-related violence during the last two automated elections.

These calls for reverting to manual elections are most likely not coming from teachers, as their lives have been made easier and safer with automated counting and canvassing.  

Candidates who have filed a decreasing number of electoral protests since 2010 aren’t pushing back against progress and the vast majority have accepted the results of automated elections as credible.  

Most importantly, these calls certainly are not a reflection of the desires of the Filipino people, who after enduring decades of electoral fraud, have finally seen their votes counted accurately and their will reflected faithfully.   

With so many benefits deriving from the implementation of automated elections, who is actually calling for the return of manual elections is a bit of a mystery.

In whodunit mystery novels, investigators know that motive is the key.  We only need to know who stands to benefit from a return to manual system and voila! — the pieces start to fall neatly into place.

These pieces lead to self-styled IT experts who have long-championed a flawed hybrid system, in which canvassing is automated but the count is done manually.  This is a system that can and has been easily manipulated. In fact, the very nature of this system is illegal. RA 9369, or the Election Automation Law, explicitly states that elections should be fully automated – no allowances should be made for a vulnerable and manipulation-prone system.

Frighteningly, these self-styled IT experts are not acting alone. The Comelec and the unwary Filipino people are up against a well-funded and well-orchestrated campaign to vilify the automated election system to force the government to return to manual elections. But why?

Think. Is it too farfetched to think that politicians who are losing elections because they can no longer manipulate the AES are working for a return of the good old days of manual cheating?


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