Friday, 24 May 2013 08:00 Published in Headlines
Amid suspicion of widespread automated fraud generated by the so-called 60-30-10 pattern, Liberal Party (LP) stalwart and Team PNoy campaign manager Sen. Franklin Drilon said the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) should “concede” to the results showing the domination of Team PNoy in the recent polls.
“They are free to do what they want. But we are a sovereign nation, we have our own processes. These processes can be availed of by everyone. But as I said, maybe to put a stop to all of this for the good of the country, the UNA can take the lead, act like a statesman as they are, and concede the election,” he said at a Senate forum.
The so-called 60-30-10 pattern is being looked at as a possible conspiracy to defraud the election results. The technology experts notice in most precincts the result was always a 60 percent total for Team PNoy candidates, 30 percent for UNA, and 10 percent for other candidates.
The pattern should be looked into deeper to determine if it has solid basis, Father Joe Dizon of Solidarity Philippines and Kontra Daya lead convenor, said.
He added there is yet no solid basis to the claim of a fraud conspiracy but experts must further study the claim.
Likewise Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said their own information technology department was studying Ateneo professor Lex Muga’s analysis in which the 60-30-10 pattern was first raised.
The poll chief said the Comelec’s IT staff also studying the claim to see if it’s true while initially admitting, “there seems to be a kind of pattern.”
But the commission are still checking and looking into the basis and will not make a conclusion as and wait for the findings of the IT department.
Dr. Michael Purugganan, Dean for Science at New York University, said in an online interview that there was no basis for a conspiracy based on the pattern.
“I have been following the supposed 60-30-10 pattern that several people (including an Ateneo professor) have ‘uncovered.’ The pattern was, in essence, that every canvass released by Comelec during election week was nearly identical in that Team PNoy got 60 percent, UNA got 30 percent and the others got 10 percent. Every canvass was within a percentage point of this number.
It was the talk of social networks, made the headlines of a national daily, and was the subject of interviews and TV news reports. They all suggested that something fishy was going on, and that it cast doubt on the results of the last elections.
“Nothing fishy is going on. It is just poor math education. Anyone with a basic knowledge of mathematics can tell you what is happening,” Purruganan said.
Let us say the true national average is indeed 60-30-10 – that is, when all the votes are counted, this is the result. Now from what I understand, each canvass released by Comelec does not reflect any particular region or province – they put together all the results from around the country that they have certificates of canvass (COCs) from, and release the result as a canvass. And each time they release a canvass, it represents millions of votes from around the country, he said.
So what does mathematics tell us? That if the election was really 60-30-10, then each canvass represents a very large sample from the total votes. And therefore each canvass would give a result that would be very, very close to the 60-30-10 national average.
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal also doubted the insinuations of fraud based on the suppose voting pattern in the senatorial elections.
The veteran election lawyer said in various decisions of the Supreme Court and House electoral tribunal, pattern voting is not indication of fraud or irregarity.
“The alleged 60-30-10 pattern of voting in favor of administration senatorial bets is not sufficient ground nor legal or factual basis to question the results of the 2013 elections,” he said.
Just like Father Dizon said, the election lawyer said proof of fraud must be presented to boost the claim.
The 60-30-10 of Muga and other IT experts though are not making claims that the results were manipulated or accused the Comelec, its automation service provider Smartmatic Corp. or any individual or group of conspiracy but merely raised the fact that it was widespread.
The Automated Election System (AES) Watch are collating additional information and documents to strengthen the case they filed earlier before United Nations Human Rights Committee over the lapses committed by the Comelec in the recently-concluded mid-term elections.
Dizon of Solidarity Philippines and Kontra Daya lead convenor, in an interview, noted that the electoral body had not been transparent in its conduct of the second automated elections with the use of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
Dizon said their lawyers are studying their next legal move so they can held responsible the Comelec and Smartmatic for the various glitches in the just concluded May 13 elections.
Instead, Drilon tossed back the challenge to the UNA, suggesting to the opposition coalition to issue a formal statement conceding victory to Team PNoy “because they have not questioned the result, 9-3.”
“We can move forward and work on a common agenda for the benefit of our people. Tapos na halalan, siguro panahon para sabihin ng UNA, as responsible political party, as responsible citizens of this country, that we concede, that the message is clear to support the agenda of this administration to the next three years, that we concede that we lost the elections but we will continue to act as fiscalizer of this administration. Then we move forward. The reluctance of UNA to concede the election gives an opportunity for all these conspiracy theories to surface,” he said.
“All of these conspiracy to manipulate are very ridiculous to me, it’s ridiculous and it doesn’t serve any purpose. Conspiracy seems to tickle the mind of the people at any particular time. Conspiracy is an attractive topic that would attract public attention, even up to now, the assassination of President Kennedy is attributed to certain conspiracies.
“What I’m saying is that the human mind is rich. There will always be theories of conspiracyabout the election etc. So I’m not surprised that another conspiracy theory is being raised on the 60-30-10. I’m sure that the Comelec will be able to address this new conspiracy even if the record of Comelec in any controversy untarnished by any legal victory in the Supreme Court,” he said.
Drilon pointed out that the alleged alleged 60-30-10 manipulation would entail conspiring with all the survey outfits for the last three months since they have given similar projections, the last of which was the 9-3 result in favor of Team PNoy.
“It has always consistently projected a victory by Team PNoy and so it’s difficult to imagine that there is a nationwide manipulation because in a number of provinces where our local LP candidates lost, the result was still 9-3. So if we aware going to manipulate, why do we leave the opposition to win in the local elections. Our team prevailed.
“We did campaign hard, we presented a platform of government, the people supported the President, the President enjoyed a very high trust rating, and this was reflected in the results. As we said the message is very clear. The people the supported President’s programs as indicated in the ballots,” he said.
Brillantes also expects to have his hands full in terms of poll protests even if the elections would have been long over starting with a heated exchange of words with erstwhile former Comelec Commissioner turned Comelec critic Gus Lagman.
The issue now is the claim of Lagman over the distribution of intelligence funds to the Comelec commissioners wherein he admitted receiving P1.25 million but he returned to the Comelec because he did not spend it.
Lagman claimed that it is natural for the commissioners and the chairman to receive intelligence fund because it is being spent for ongoing investigation while the chairman of the poll body receive P2.5 million.
The former Comelec commissioner debunked the claim of Brillantes that he did nothing while he was with the poll body.
What he did is to review his file and saw he has done many things except that he did not make an investigation thus he returned the money intended for it.
And added that he returned the money after a few months after he felt that he was being made to sign a false liquidation
Brillantes though admitted that there is an intelligence fund budget that is being divided among the commissioner.
He said the intelligence fund of the poll body was used in the filing of an electoral sabotage charges against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former Comelec commissioner Bejamin Abalos Sr.
He said the poll body spent for the safety of their witnesses because they were engaged in the witness protection program thus they have provide for them the safe huse, allowances and food.
Also, they spent for the election officers coming from Maguindanao to meet government lawyers and they used the intel fund instead of the funds of the Comelec itself.
Another example was cited by Brillantes on the release of funds for the surveillance of alleged election operators and manipulators of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
He scored Lagman over it because it is but proper for him to return the money since it is his obligation after he was not reappointed by President Aquino.
Brillantes said Lagman should really return it because he was not reappointed and likewise should boast over it’s return since that is the right thing to do.
The poll chief further said that Lagman received the P1.25 miillion and deposited it into his account but apparently it was not spent.
Brillantes asked Lagman that if in the event he was reappointed will he return the moBrillantes asked Lagman that if in the event he was reappointed will he return the money given to him for intelligence fund.
The former commissioner also could not produce any document to support the expenses if there are and if there is none then it is his obligation to return it.
The Comelec chief admitted that the commission has already received some P20 million in intelligence funds for this year and half of it was already distributed.
By Angie M. Rosales and Alvin Murcia
Sen. Pia Cayetano is asking the Supreme Court (SC) to allow the implementation of Malacañang’s multibillion-peso population control measure.
In a 36-page petition for intervention, the lawmaker urged the high court to lift the status quo ante order it issued last February and to dismiss the petitions questioning the constitutionality of Republic Act (RA) 10354, or the Reproductive Health (RH) Law.
Cayetano, the principal author of the controversial law, said the RH Law does not violate the constitutional freedom of choice and right to privacy and that adults are still free to reject information relating to reproductive health provided by the government “for whatever personal reason which may or may not be related to their religious beliefs.”
“Contrary to what is envisaged under the constitutional duty of the State, spouses are divested of any ‘real’ or ‘informed’ choice in founding their families, since petitioners ostensibly favor only the Roman Catholic-sanctioned natural family planning methods,” the petition stated.
Cayetano also argued that it is not yet the right time to question the law before the court because there was no actual damage incurred by the petitioners with the passage of the law.
She also defended the legality of the RH Law because it adheres to the “constitutional right to privacy” and it does not violate the “freedom of religion, and right to life.”
The lawmaker argued she already has a “legal interest” in the case because the petitioners were asking the SC for the review of the law itself which is an interference in the power of another branch of government, particularly the Senate.
Last April 2, the high tribunal dismissed a similar plea of losing administration senatorial bet Ana Theresia Hontiveros for lack of merit ahead of its scheduled oral argument on June 18.
The consolidated petitions were filed as early as January by couple James and Lovely-Ann Imbong, non-profit group Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines Inc. (ALFI), Serve Life Cagayan de Oro City, Task Force for Family and Life Visayas Inc., lawyer Expedito Bugarin, Eduardo Olaguer of the Catholic Xybrspace Apostolate of the Philippines, former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad and his wife Ma. Fenny and a group of doctors represented by lawyer Howard Calleja.
They cited Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution, which states: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of Government.”
Petitioners said at least 11 provisions in RA 10354, which allow couples to choose to suppress life, violate this constitutional provision.
They added the new law violates constitutional freedom of religion and expression of those who will continue to oppose it and also creates doubtful or spurious rights called reproductive health rights. Benjamin B. Pulta with PNA
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