Monday, October 25, 2010

Philippine elections: fraud and irregularities. What else is new?


Today is election day in the Philippines where thousands went to poll places to vote for barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (youth council) officials.

The Philippines is marked for elections that is filled with fraud, disenfranchisement, cheating, and what have you? Today is no different.

The rotten system is still there and very much eats every citizen as if it is the normal way to exercise the summit of democracy, the right to vote.

I went to the polling precinct early to exercise my right and duty to this nation. I found my name in the voters' master list. I was assigned at Precinct 3536A for Barangay 874 Zone 96 in Manila.

However, my name was not in all the four polling rooms for my area.


The poll watchers helped me to find my name to no avail.


About half a dozen other voters could not find their names, too.


One voter found her name but could not exercise her right because someone has used her name to vote.
I was told by the teachers, who were assigned to conduct the exercise, to complain to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) officers.


The COMELEC officer told me and other hopeful voters that they cannot do anything about it. We could not vote.


What we see is what we get. That's it.


We were given COMELEC's phone number to complain instead. The phone number is 583-3347. I called the number for about half an hour but it was engaged.


In Makati City, people living in shanties were gathered by some unknown people, fed them, and brought them together in the polling precincts. And you can safely assume that the voters were told to write the name of a particular candidate.


Early in the morning, I saw many voters carrying meal boxes, a way to buy their votes.


In the polling place, all the dirt are found everywhere. It was too noisy. Heavy traffic near poll places.


Radio reports had it that poll exercise were deferred in about 1,700 polling precincts due to delayed delivery of election paraphernalia. They will hold the elections the following day.


Classes were suspended on the poll day itself and the following day. Imagine another lost opportunity for students.


None of the voters I saw every had a voter's ID. I was never issued one.


Reports of election-related violence, killings, vote buying, cheating, and gun-possession are still very much in practice.


One candidate was reported to have been giving ball pens and other giveaways to lure voters.


Over 4,000 candidates are seeking reelection more than the required three-year term.


Above all these, COMELEC officials have declared a peaceful and orderly conduct of the elcetions. They seem to be happy with today's elections.


I do not know what their standard is. But if officials are happy with how the exercise was conducted, I think this country will remain in the tail end of the world.


See the photos below.


allvoices

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