Political Partie and Elections

Congress oversight body hears alternative poll automation system

JCOC welcomed the holding of a public demo to be hosted by the oversight committee where IT experts can show that the Smartmatic-supplied PCOS machine can be tampered. Before he retired, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes dared Lagman to show that the system can be tampered. Brillantes later backtracked on his challenge. But AES Watchasked the committee to allow the public demo adding that public interest takes precedence over Smartmatic’s refusal due to alleged proprietary rights.

The Year in Elections, 2014
Afghanistan, Syria and Bahrain the worst elections in 2014


In particular, the foreign owned big business Smartmatic's non compliant PCOS technology, based on AES Watch studies and a long list of PCOS technical glitches and discrepancies, is Not SECURE and NOT ACCURATE

High Court set to hear oral arguments on suits filed vs Comelec, Smartmatic
March 3, 2015

THE SUPREME COURT (SC) is expected anytime soon to set the oral arguments on the separate petitions for injunction and temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by citizens election watch groups and a national lawyers’ organization against the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic-TIM, a Venezuelan marketing company.

Before Comelec chair Brillantes retires Feb. 2

The Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch), a broad citizens’ election watchdog of 40-plus affiliated organizations, today asked Congress to conduct a demonstration to test whether Comelec’s PCOS voting system can be hacked.

25 Bishops ask poll body to stop midnight deal with Smartmatic

Many contracts have been awarded to the Venezuelan company, Smartmatic, since 2010 to automate Philippine elections now amounting to billions of taxpayers’ money despite undisputed findings by citizens’ election watchdogs, IT experts, and other groups with regard to non-compliance by both Comelec and Smartmatic of election and procurement laws that compromised the transparency, security, accuracy, and trustworthiness of the automated election system.

2 poll watch coalitions stage rally vs Comelec-Smartmatic midnight deal

Meet with Brillantes Jan 13 2015
AES Watch Conveners face Comelec’s Brillantes: (counter clockwise) Former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman, Maricor Akol, Mother Mary John Manansan, Brillantes, CenPEG’s Evi Jimenez, Glenn Chong, and retiring Commissioner Elias Yusoph. CenPEG photo

More mass protests will be launched to demand the Brillantes-led Comelec to rescind its midnight resolution of Dec. 23 awarding P300 million-contract to Smartmatic for the diagnostic tests of 80,000 PCOS machines and ban the non-compliant foreign vendor from participating in current and future election public bidding.

AES Watch questions Comelec-Smartmatic midnight deal
January 7, 2015

Why did the Comelec award a new contract with the foreign company Smartmatic on Dec. 23 last year – without any prior or post-announcement and when the whole country was already on vacation for Christmas? Why is Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr., now saying the deal had to be made without public bidding for reason of lack of time?

Remittance with Representation: The right to vote of overseas Filipinos

CenPEG chair Temario Rivera (right photo) opens the conference while foreign affairs department’s acting chair for Overseas Voting Secretariat Edgar Castro (left photo) responds during a session. CenPEG photo

(Dec. 4, 2014) Since the law’s enactment, four elections have been held – 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2013. From a relatively high voter turnout of 65% in 2004, however, the turnout has dropped to a dismal 16% in 2013 – 118,823 out of 975,263 who registered.

How to rig an automated election in the Philippines
Rene B. Azurin, Strategic Perspective
Posted by CenPEG
November 13, 2014

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. has effectively admitted that Comelec’s implementation of a computerized election system has been flawed all along.

Deliberate ignorance on automated polls
Rene B. Azurin, Strategic Perspective
Posted by CenPEG

“WHO CONTROLS the machine, controls the votes” is the simplest explanation yet of the problems intrinsic to a computerized election.

A manual recount in Nueva Ecija
H.A. Barrios

The PCOS system is plagued with these problems because its design clashes with the nature of elections. It was designed not as a tool of the electorate but of Comelec which is not a participant in the election.

Our democracy is subverted by Comelec
Rene B. Azurin

IT WOULD ACTUALLY be comical -- if it weren’t so serious -- that people continue to think in terms of the popularity (or lack of it) of all these candidates lusting hungrily for the highest public offices in the upcoming 2016 presidential polls. No one, it seems, has yet fully grasped the fact that, since the 2010 elections, the key to winning political office is no longer the favor of the voting masses but, instead, the benediction of the tiny cabal that controls the computerized system for our automated elections.

Poll advisory council bats for re-using PCOS machines in 2016

Speaking before the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on automated election system (JCOC-AES) on Aug. 14, 2014, Louie Casambre said the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC), which he chairs, is recommending the reuse of existing precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines and the use of one or more voting technologies for the 2016 national elections.

AES Watch: Secret Voting, Public Counting

JCOC committee members above, led by Sen. Koko Pimentel, face Comelec commissioners during the Aug. 14 hearing. CenPEG photo

The Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch) submitted on Aug. 14, 2014 its “Secret Voting, Public Counting” proposal for the 2016 elections in a Manifestation paper to the Joint Congressional Advisory Committee on automated election system (JCOC-AES).


Finally bearing fruit or foiled again?
Center for People Empowerment in Governance 
12:01 AM | Philippine Daily Inquirer, Talk of the Town,
A10 Sunday, January 4th, 2015

While without an FOI law the citizenry has admittedly had mixed success in combating corruption and other governance issues, a bad FOI law could make that common concern even more problematic.

New defense deal with U.S. needs Senate concurrence, opponents say
CenPEG position paper read at Senate foreign relations committee hearing

Senate foreign affairs committee members led by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. CenPEG photo

The Philippine Senate’s foreign relations committee, on Dec. 1, 2014, was set to file a resolution expressing the upper legislative chamber’s “disappointment” over the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) without Senate concurrence.

Download the papers here >>>

CenPEG vice chair on dzmm interview on VFA

CenPEG Vice ChairCenPeg Vice Chair Professor Roland G. Simbulan was interviewed extensively with Atty. Evalyn Ursua by tele-radio DZMM anchor Henry Omaga Diaz last October 25, 2014 about the murder of Jennifer Laude and the issue of jurisdiction and custody under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

CenPEG’s 4th Roundtable: Canadian professor talks on ‘globalization of war’

Michel Chossudovsky (right) stresses as point as CenPEG's Temario C. Rivera listens. (CenPEG photo)

Michel Chossudovsky, emeritus professor at the University of Ottawa, spoke on the “globalization of war” at CenPEG’s fourth Roundtable Discussion on Oct. 14, 2014, University of the Philippines’ Asian Center.

In the wake of the Laude killing:
Congress asked to probe US forces’ behavior & “state of mental health” -- CenPEG

The Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) today supported inquiries on the Oct. 12 murder of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in Olongapo City being sought by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago in the Senate and the Makabayan bloc in the lower House. Murder charges have been filed against the suspect, Pvt. 1st Class Joseph Scott Pemberton of the US Marine Corps.

Cooperation and security increasing youth awareness on Asia-Pacific security

Cooperation...The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) China, in collaboration with the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), hosted the first Asia-Pacific Young Scholars Workshop on September 1-10, 2014 in Beijing and Shanghai, China. Seventeen young scholars from different countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, including CenPEG Policy Researcher Danica Panelo, were invited to participate in the workshop for the purpose of increasing youth awareness on regional security issues and preparing today’s generation to become efficient leaders in the near future.

Global Currents

WORKING FOR THE FEW Political capture and economic inequality
Oxfam Briefing Paper, Jan. 20, 2014
Posted by CenPEG.org (Jan. 27, 2014)

Economic inequality is rapidly increasing in the majority of countries. The wealth of the world is divided in two: almost half going to the richest one percent; the other half to the remaining 99 percent. The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.

The 8-Day Palestine-Israel War

Nov. 29, 2012 was the UN-declared International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. (The following day, Palestine – whose 8 million people have lived mostly in Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 – received its non-state member status from the UN General Assembly.) The Philippine Interfaith Solidarity Forum on Palestine was held on Nov. 29 at the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Quezon City, where CenPEG Fellow Bobby M. Tuazon gave a talk.




The bloodbath that reopened old wounds
March 3, 2015

Prof. Julkipli WadiLEAD DISCUSSANT Dean Julkipli Wadi (CenPEG photo)

THE REAL VOICE of the Bangsamoro people must be heard in the search for a just and lasting peace in Mindanao, southern Philippines.

Bangsamoro substate
Antecedents, restructuring, possibilities
Julkipli Wadi
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Talk of the Town
February 22nd, 2015, A16

ASEAN-India: Building Youth Partnerships through Culture and Entrepreneurship

The Ministry of External Affairs India, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), hosted the seventh ASEAN-India Students Exchange Program last Nov. 9-18, 2014.

CenPEG forges research exchange and partnership with Jinan University
January 7, 2015

The Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) recently forged a research cooperation and partnership with the Jinan University’s School of International Studies (SIS) to exchange studies on Philippine-China relations, Southeast Asia, regional security, and other issues.

Issue Analysis and Commentary


Fixing the presidency, reforming the state
Bobby M. Tuazon
Posted from Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 13, 2015

But the dim public perception of the President cannot be attributed solely to massive disappointment over the gap between his 2010 “social contract” and his failure to walk the talk, compounded by the poverty and unemployment that worsened under his watch. It reflects mounting public dissatisfaction starting from the Marcos years over the misuse of power from one administration to the next for personal gain, corruption, plunder and other crimes. It is a collective narrative of a people who removed incorrigible presidents and replaced them with persons of the same mold.


Let go, America

The United States’ dragging counterterrorism operations are turning southern Philippines into another Afghanistan. With US federal agents reportedly on top of the Jan. 25 operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the bloodbath will worsen armed feuds involving rebel groups, extremists and government forces.


Pope Francis: reform and conversion

“Reality is superior to a paper of ideas.”

This, in brief, captures the corpus of Pope Francis’ messages in his four-day pastoral journey in the Philippines dramatized by encounters with overseas Filipino workers’ families, youth, street children, “Yolanda” survivors, and religious men and women.


When politicians rule the public discourse

The daily dose of news on corruption involving powerful politicians escalates the public disgust against greed and rapacity. A headline-hogger since post-martial law times, the abuse of power and plunder are widely seen today as institutionally endemic and no longer involving isolated cases.


New Asian security architecture: seeking partners
By Bobby M. Tuazon
October 14th, 2014
Philippine Daily Inquirer, A-12

As the United States and Nato launch air strikes on Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, and as Russia faces sanctions for aiding Ukrainian rebels, a new security architecture is taking shape in Asia and Eurasia. In these regions, the concept of a new security architecture is now the subject of discourse among governments and also scholars, think tanks, and peace advocates.


Time for reckoning by President Aquino
By Bobby M. Tuazon |
Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 5th, 2014

President Aquino has sought to clarify that he is not seeking reelection. But his words have not doused speculation about his wanting a second term and added more confusion to the issue.


Is budget reform possible?
By Bobby M. Tuazon

With public confidence in government waning, the Supreme Court’s rulings on the unconstitutionality of the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) and DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) make it all the more compelling for the budget system to be reformed.

Series of 2014
June 26, 2014

The fight against plunder goes beyond the courtroom

The solution to systemic corruption – in the way that political authority is used to amass private wealth – goes beyond the presidency and should not begin and end with litigations that promise no certain closure

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