Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) today called on detractors of the planned automation of the May 2010 presidential elections to stop inciting public distrust against automation by casting doubts about its feasibility.
Gordon, father of election modernization in the Philippines, made the call in the wake of a bill reportedly filed in the House of Representatives on succession to the presidency to foreclose the possibility of a vacancy in case of failure of elections and terrorist attack, among others.
“Papaano tayo magkakaroon ng demokrasya kung hindi natin aayusin ang ating pagboto? Why don’t we give automation a chance? Ang mindset kasi natin, hindi pa tayo nagsisimula tinatali na natin ang ating sarili,” he said.
“Yun ang gusto kong baguhin sa ating bayan. We have to break down the walls in our minds that were erected by the foreign colonizers which prevent us from having confidence in our capabilities,” he added.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has embarked on preparations to implement a nationwide automation of next year’s elections, as mandated by Republic Act (RA) 9369 or the amended Automated Elections System that the senator authored.
The Comelec is in the process of selecting the company that would provide the automation technology and is looking towards announcing the winning bidder before the end of the month.
But some sectors have been trying to derail the preparations, casting doubts on the poll body’s capability to implement a nationwide automated election next year.
Members of the House of Representatives warned that the possibility of a failure of elections in May next year has become real in view of the difficulties that the Comelec is encountering.
Fears of a no-election scenario arose after the Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) initially disqualified all seven bidders for failing to meet certain eligibility requirements.
“Maraming duda eh tapos na. Pinaghirapan namin ng apat na taon sa Kongreso yan. Bakit ngayon sasabihin hindi na naman kaya. Yun ang sakit natin. Hindi natin magawa-gawa yung dapat nating gawin pagkat duda tayo ng duda,” Gordon lamented. (30/lap)