Political Partie and Elections

Comelec’s PCOS-OMR system rejects public counting, enhances wholesale cheating
Nelson Celis, TMT
November 25, 2020
Posted by CenPEG, Nov. 25, 2020

hybrid system sa eleksiyon

Is the 2009 study of CenPEG futuristic that it could predict what could have happened in the last four national and local elections? Will the Congress under President Duterte’s administration pass these pending bills for our democracy…and for the Filipino people?


When history repeats itself

Nelson Celis, TMT / October 14, 2020
Posted by CenPEG, 21 Oct. 2020


Mark Twain said, “History never repeats itself but it rhymes” — there are like-sounding conditions that re-occur throughout history but not closely or the same sound.

Fraud: Its butterfly effect

Nelson Celis, TMT / August 12, 2020
Posted by CenPEG Aug. 14, 2020

Comelec data leak in 2016. Image:dailypedia.net

In our government offices, we have had butterfly effect experiences. A typical example is the infamous ComeLeak in March 2016, a few weeks before the 2016 elections, as the incident created humongous consequence

Hybrid election system in 2022: How do we proceed?
Nelson Celis, The Manila Times,
July 22, 2020
Posted by CenPEG

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon tests hybrid system during a 1-day forum-demo held by CenPEG / AES Watch at PLM in 2015. Photo by CenPEG

THE Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation (Cerpp), led bCenPEG_AES_Watch_hybrid_demo_2015y Sen. María Imelda Josefa Marcos, has been consistently deliberating Senate Bill (SB) 7 since it was introduced by Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd in July last year.

DocPH, a month after
Nelson Celis / The Manila Times / May 13, 2020
Posted by CenPEG
May 13, 2020

DocPH is a form of complex bayanihan wherein a group of Filipino doctors collaborate to help their sick ‘kababayans’ or countrymen, and at the same time helping DoH and the nation fight the pandemic.

Photo from CNNPhilippines

Democracy at stake: The need for poll system standards and certification

The test certifications in the last four national and local elections resulted in a lot of technical problems because of the absence or lack of test certifications of all the Automated Election System (AES) components.

Nelson Celis, TMT, February 19, 2020
Posted by CenPEG March 08, 2020

CERPP Feb 11 2020
Hearing of the Senate committee on electoral reform and people’s participation last Feb. 11, 2020. (CenPEG photo)

What legal basis are you referring to, Comelec?
Nelson Celis, TMT, June 12, 2019
Posted by CenPEG June 18, 2019

Protest rally against election fraud
Protest rally against election fraud

There are many legal grounds for banning Smartmatic as technology supplier in future Philippine elections.

JUNK Smartmatic! AES Watch renews call for public counting with electronic transmission
CenPEG.org June 06, 2019

Joint Congressional Oversight Committee hearing, June 4, 2019. CenPEG photo

“It’s about time the government give due recognition to effective and fraud free election system giving emphasis on Philippine sourced transparency and accountability as guiding principles (i.e. public precinct counting with people participation, electronic transmission and automated consolidation and canvassing) starting in the 2022 presidential elections.”

2019 elections assessment: Worst!
Nelson Celis, TMT
May 22, 2019
Posted by CenPEG
May 23, 2019

May 13, 2019 mid-term elections (Photo source Time)
May 13, 2019 mid-term elections (Photo source Time)

The AES Watch overall STAR card assessment of 2019 elections was “1” (Fail). This is similar to the past elections except that we experienced the worst so far based on the sheer number of technical problems, especially the mysterious seven-hour lull between May 13, 6 p.m. to May 14, 1 a.m.

As voters troop to polls on May 13, critical questions remain unsolved
May 11, 2019

PRESS CON pixAT THE PRESSCON: Temario C. Rivera (right) and Gus Lagman (left). Photo by CenPEG

The broad, multi-sectoral poll watchdog, Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch), says that unless glaring vulnerabilities of the AES and non-compliance with major provisions of RA 9369 are resolved the May 13 mid-term elections will create credibility issues.

Time to change the automated election law
Nelson Celis Posted by CenPEG March 14, 2019

With the mismanagement of the AES project by Comelec’s PMO since 2010, the result was the repeated noncompliance of Comelec with the AES law. There were so many disconnections among the project team players.

Election violence Photo by Benarnews
Election violence Photo by Bernanews

National Political Situationer No. 01
19 February 2019

The 2019 May Elections and its Implications on the Duterte Administration

The last three years of any elected administration can be very contentious and trying times. The national leadership’s ability to effectively respond to political and related challenges will be significantly shaped by the outcome of the upcoming 2019 mid-term elections. Indeed, the 2019 election is a Prologue to the 2022 elections in all its uncertainties and opportunities. While the 2019 election is only one arena of contestation it can set the line of march for more momentous events for the next few years.

JAN 19 2019 mock elections
Mock polls held Jan. 19, 2019. Photo from Ripples Daily

Time to change the Automated Election Law
Nelson Celis, The Manila Times,
Jan. 16, 2019 (AES Watch spokesperson) Posted by CenPEG Jan. 30, 2019

time to change the aes law

Why is there a need to change the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) to a permanent Automated Election System (AES) board? (Part 4)


2019 elections: ‘Laway’ of Venezuelans or ‘talino’ of Filipinos
Parts 16 & 17

Comelec building, Intramuros, Manila)

To conclude this 17-part series, the “laway” syndrome overcoming “talino” may continue to prevail in the elections to come, even in the next presidential elections in 2022, due to the inability of our constitutional commission, the Comelec, in managing its internal affairs and in handling the AES project.

Nelson J. Celis
Manila Times
Oct. 3 & 24, 2018
Posted by CenPEG
Oct. 25, 2018

>> PART 16
>> PART 17

Compliance Theory: A Case Study Approach in Understanding Organizational Commitment

Nelson J. Celis
Spokesperson, AES Watch
Posted from DLSU Business & Economics Review (2018)
May 26, 2018


Combining the qualitative and quantitative analyses of the compliance behavior of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), this paper contributes to the theorization of regulatory compliance in understanding organizational commitment with electronic commerce and related laws involving the use of IT in the Philippine context with detailed elucidation of the variables influencing it.

The Myth of the Hacker-Proof Voting Machine


By Kim Zetter / New York Times / Feb. 21, 2018 Posted by CenPEG Feb. 26, 2018

In the 15 years since electronic voting machines were first adopted by many states, numerous reports by computer scientists have shown nearly every make and model to be vulnerable to hacking. The systems were not initially designed with robust security in mind, and even where security features were included, experts have found them to be poorly implemented with glaring holes.

Smartmatic and the Venezuela Electoral Fraud
Hector A. Barrios
Posted by CenPEG.org
Sept. 4, 2017

Smartmatic voting machine used in Venezuela
Smartmatic voting machine used in Venezuela (Business Wire photo)

If Smartmatic discerned data manipulation, then it must have had access to data, and not only that, it must have had the means to distinguish right from wrong data. How so?

Related Story

Venezuela's Maduro Accuses Smartmatic of Caving to US Pressure
3 August 2017, teleSUR
Posted by CenPEG.org

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Smartmatic of caving under pressure from the U.S. Wednesday, adding that the company’s allegations were an attempt to tarnish the National Constituent Assembly vote that took place Sunday.

The judicious spending of taxpayers’ money: Does it matter?
Nelson Celis / Manila Times
Posted by CenPEG
April 11, 2017

Smartmatic faced probe in the May 9, 2016 elections for reported transparency server tweak

With the COMELEC, as observed by AES Watch, the use of PCOS machines for one day only generated not only controversies for non-compliance with AES law but also mishandling of multi-billion-peso contracts.


Biden eyes a tougher regional presence
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / October 18, 2020
Posted by CenPEG Oct. 21, 2020

Fil-Am early voter in US
Fil-Am early voter in US

In the Philippines, Biden’s foreign policy plan intersects with political forces, including defense and foreign affairs honchos, who want defense ties with the United States back on track as a deterrent to China.

Delia D. Aguilar & E. San Juan, Jr.
Posted by CenPEG.org
07 October 2020

The Philippines is still a U.S. dependency, whatever claims may be made about Filipino adobo, Miss Universe this and that, growing incomes of Filipino-Americans, increasing popularity of Filipino films, singers, etc. We are one of Trump’s “shitholes,” let us not demur, whose chief export and dollar-earners are Overseas Filipino Workers around the planet.

A radical shift in the COVID-19 response
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / August 15, 2020
Posted by CenPEG Aug. 16, 2020

Health workers protest lack of assistance, poor conditions

President Duterte’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic started on the wrong foot. It was bound to fail. After five months of lockdowns—the world’s longest—the number of confirmed cases is surging by leaps. COVID-19-dedicated facilities are overwhelmed and frontliners are demoralized.

Think tank calls for a people’s consultative body on Covid-19

Posted 11 Aug. 2020

Stranded_FilipinosTHOUSANDS of stranded individuals stay at Rizal memorial coliseum to await travel. Photo by Bernanews

The policy think tank CenPEG called for the formation of an independent, broad-based multisectoral consultative body parallel to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) charged with leading the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Let experts take the lead vs Covid-19 – CenPEG
Re-tooled action plan should also mobilize NGO community leaders
CenPEG 31 July 2020

Rural doc in Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya is also contact tracer to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Photo by National Geographic

The CenPEG think tank on July 31 called for a revamp of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) by allowing credible medical experts and scientists to also take the driver’s seat in the fight against Covid-19.

90% of PH labor force
displaced by Covid-19
CenPEG calls for IATF overhaul, lead role for medical experts and scientists
CenPEG July 26, 2020

Using the Philippine Statistical Authority’s (PSA) April 2020 Labor Force Survey, up to 90% of the Philippines’ labor force have been fully or partially displaced by the March–May lockdown the government enforced to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Off the road for 4 months…and running. Photo: Straits Times

A true national emergency bill
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / May 09, 2020
Posted by CenPEG

In the last two years of President Duterte, policymaking should pivot to a reform track. Such policy shift should consider enhancing the country’s public health care system and nurturing health professionals—a priority long ignored by politics-ridden lawmaking.

Photo from foreignpolicy.com

Zone Defense Against The Covid  

Zoning should have been done since Day 1 but even now, late though it is, it should still be used because it can help flatten the curve as well as hasten the easing of economic restrictions.

Posted by CenPEG
May 03, 2020

Photo credit South China Morning Post


Jolted by the coronavirus
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / April 04, 2020
Posted by CenPEG April 04, 2020

Development cannot thrive solely on “economic fundamentals,” and this should be replaced by human fundamentals like health. The earlier we take this route, the better we will be in saving lives.

COVID-19 photo
Photo from rappler.com

The Philippine Press in Year 3 of the Duterte Regime
Luis V. Teodoro
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
11th State of the Presidency (SOP) of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance, July 19, 2019
July 26, 2019


The next three remaining years of the Duterte regime are not likely to be any better—and will most probably be even worse.

The PH political situation, according to Temario Rivera
The Philippine Reporter,
June 14, 2019
Posted by CenPEG June 19, 2019

Jockeying has already begun between the big political families for the 2022 presidential elections. Ping Lacson, Sara Duterte, Grace Poe, and one of the Villars are among those mentioned as interested in running.

Federalizing will not cure country’s institutional problems
CenPEG News
20 November 2018

IN THE PANEL (l-r): Hector Barrios, reactor; Temario C. Rivera, speaker; Emmanuel Leyco, reactor; and Jose Enrique Africa, speaker. (Not in photo: Prof. Maragtas SV Amante.) CenPEG photo

“Federalism…will…lead to an uncoordinated, narrowly region-centric developmental process that will worsen regional inequalities, entrench the regional power of unaccountable political families and further disable the country from pursuing nationally coherent policy responses in an increasingly complex global environment.”

TAKING CORRUPTION BY THE HORNS: Lessons from Our Neighbors

There is a causal relationship or bidirectional causality between economic equality and corruption: high inequality breeds high corruption, high corruption sustains high inequality.

Bobby M. Tuazon
Posted Oct. 15, 2018


ML Extension in Mindanao Will Fuel More Extremism; Won’t End Rebellion
Bobby M. Tuazon
Posted by CenPEG on Oct. 2, 2018

Any government that resorts to martial law (ML) for whatever reason is an admission of a failure to govern and a failure to institute reforms in a peaceful way.

Lumad student narrates her family ordeal as government shock troops storm their communities in Mindanao (CenPEG photo)

Contesting Duterte’s Questionable Peace Offer
Amirah Ali Lidasan
Moro-Christian Peoples Alliance
CenPEG posted on Sept. 18, 2018

The Moro people remain poor because of landlessness and homelessness aggravated by relentless military operations and corporate encroachments on Moro communities. In the name of “national development,” the Duterte government has railroaded the rights to ancestral domain and territories of the national minorities and openly sold to foreign corporations the resources in these areas.

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Journalism and the press in year 2 of the Duterte regime
Luis V. Teodoro

Luis V. Teodoro
Luis V. Teodoro

For much of the corporate media it's still business as usual. The regime drive to federalism and rush to adopt a new constitution, for example, is treated as just another news event rather than an issue that needs the most careful examination because of their impact on governance and the people's lives and future.

Posted by CenPEG

Speakers raise issues on a shift to federalism

Jose V. Abueva (r) gives the keynote address; to his right is Temario C. Rivera

As the Philippine Congress took a break from weeks of stormy debates on constitutional change with the forming of the Puno consultative committee on charter change, the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) held a one-day conference on the fractious issue.

One Year of Duterte Presidency: Deeper Issues and Challenges
CenPEG News
July 21, 2017

CenPEG’s 9th State of the Presidency

Four days ahead of President Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA), CenPEG Fellows appraised the presidential performance based on issues and challenges during Duterte’s first year – July 2016 to June 2017. In a public forum organized by CenPEG on July 20, 2017, the CenPEG Fellows assessed the presidential performance covering issues on governance leadership, economic directions, foreign policy, government peace talks with the Left, the Bangsamoro peace road and Marawi crisis, and the war on illegal drugs.

Revisiting Istanbul Principles and its Relevance to Philippine CSOs
March 21, 2017

Evita Jimenez (right, standing) talks on development effectiveness. CenPEG photo

"Development effectiveness must coalesce with other sectors including professionals, local scientists, inventors, and educators, as well as small entrepreneurs and producers." - Evita L. Jimenez, CenPEG Executive Director

Paving the Way for Philippine CSO Development Effectiveness Work

Calls for resumption of talks mount

Government and NDFP negotiators in last year's Oslo talks.Photo by Kodao

“Total War” will only fuel armed struggle
February 8, 2017

No “total war” policy has ever succeeded since Marcos and full-scale anti-insurgency has only added fuel to the revolutionary movement of the CPP-NPA.

Now more than ever, resume the peace talks!
February 8, 2017

Statement of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform calling for the resumption of the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Global Currents

U.S.-based scholar E. San Juan, Jr. interviews Bill Fletcher Jr., African-American public intellectual

"I do not anticipate any changes in the near future in the absence of a movement on the ground in the USA that pushes the US on foreign policy generally and the US/Philippines relationship in particular. Frankly, the relationship is very comfortable for the USA and the ruling circles see no reason to change this." - Bill Fletcher, Jr.


A Sense of Nationhood and Philippine Sovereignty
CenPEG.org, 06 October 2020

A Sense of Nationhood and Philippine Sovereignty

The book, A Sense of Nationhood: The Bobby Tañada Reader, was launched in a webinar on Oct. 1, 2020. The launching of the book, the latest published by the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), highlighted a virtual forum on Philippine national sovereignty.

Kurit Aki child artists hold workshop on Sept. 26


Paint brushes and acrylic paint were the media used by children as they showed their talents in visualizing their thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemic and how they should respond. Wearing face masks and face shields while maintaining physical distancing, 100 children from 10 teams participated in the Kurit Aki virtual workshop for 3 hours held on Sept. 26, 2020.

KURIT AKI DRY RUN by remote learning
September 16, 2020

kurit aki

The Kurit Aki project team held a dry run of its coming workshop on Sept. 16, 2020 from 9 a.m. – 12 noon using Zoom remote teaching. Teams of Kurit Aki children from 13 barangays in the towns of Canaman, Naga, Pasacao, Bula, Ocampo, Tigaon, and Minalabac participated.


Duterte’s termination of the VFA: New strategic moves?

“Facts show that, under the right conditions, China is capable of economic or territorial concessions in exchange for greater security. The case of the protracted negotiations over the Sino-Russia border and the latest trade war deal with the US are good examples.”

March 5, 2020

Eric Baculinao in Beijing

> Duterte’s termination of the VFA: New strategic moves?

2 CenPEG Fellows receive distinguished awards this year
Sept. 30, 2019

rivera-ilagan(Left)Boni Ilagan: Gawad Plaridel 2019; (Right)Rivera: UPAA awardee for democratization and governance

Better Active Today than Radioactive Tomorrow: Lessons from the Anti-BNPP Struggle in the Philippines
Roland G. Simbulan

Simbulan delivers his plenary paper at Taiwan No Nukes conference

3 Years of Authoritarian Rule under Duterte: An Alternative Perspective
CenPEG’s 11th State of the Presidency (SOP)
CenPEG News
July 26, 2019

(L-R) Nelson Celis, Temario C. Rivera, Joseph Anthony Lim (holding mike), and moderator Hector Barrios. CenPEG photo

Journalist killings, harassments, and intimidation in the guise of libel cases marked the state of the Philippine press in the first three years of the Duterte presidency.

Recto Bank fishing incident tackled at Saturday press forum
CenPEG June 18, 2019

The June 9 fishing incident at the Recto Bank in South China involving a Filipino fishing boat and a Chinese vessel was the centerpiece issue during the Saturday press forum at Annabel’s, Quezon City.

The Continuing Vulnerabilities of the Comelec-Smartmatic Automated Election System

May 8, 2019, 10 a.m. – 12 noon Consunji Room, 2nd Flr., Ang Bahay ng Alumni Magsaysay Avenue, UP Diliman, Quezon City

International conference on China’s ties with neighboring countries hosted by Jinan U
Posted Jan. 30, 2019

Two Fellows from the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) recently were session speakers at the international symposium on “China and its Neighboring Countries: Cooperation, Win-win and Sharing,” hosted by the Jinan University’s School of International Studies and Academy of Overseas Chinese Studies in Guangzhou, China.

CenPEG launches 15th book
Probing Duterte’s Foreign Policy in the New Regional Order

Issue Analysis and Commentary


A true national emergency bill
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / May 09, 2020
Posted by CenPEG

In the last two years of President Duterte, policymaking should pivot to a reform track. Such policy shift should consider enhancing the country’s public health care system and nurturing health professionals—a priority long ignored by politics-ridden lawmaking.

Photo from foreignpolicy.com


Duterte’s pivot to Russia
Bobby M. Tuazon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted by CenPEG, February 26, 2020

Photo_by_SCMPPhoto by SCMP

Is President Duterte flashing a pivot to Russia by terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States? Is this the promise he made in 2016 to break away from America and form an “alliance” with China and Russia?


US-PH ties rock-solid despite China
By: Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / August 01, 2019
Posted by CenPEG
Aug. 2, 2019

PHOTO-Asia-TimesPhoto by Asia Times

Despite President Duterte’s “pivot to China,” the country’s alliance with the United States is not only solid but is on the upturn. Manila and Beijing may claim a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” but it cannot match the ironclad ties the Philippines has with its former colonial master.


End perpetual power
By: Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / July 11, 2019
Posted by CenPEG July 11, 2019

The chronic power monopoly by the elite suggests that the people’s fair representation in government that enables the country’s claimed democracy to work is nil.

DUTERTESTHE DUTERTES: All in the family. Photo from PEP.ph


The real transition for the Bangsamoro
Bobby M. Tuazon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 08, 2019
Posted by CenPEG March 11, 2019

The Bangsamoro leadership needs a reform vision, and must be ready to deal with local oligarchs and corporate landholders. This is the acid test for the new Bangsamoro leadership.

Moro rebel farmer Getty Images photo
Moro rebel farmer Getty Images photo


Lorenzana’s wishful thinking
Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / January 12, 2019
Posted by CenPEG January 17, 2019

MDT signing on Aug. 30, 1951, Washington, DC: (l-r) US President Harry S. Truman, Philippine President Elpidio R. Quirino, and his foreign secretary, Joaquin Miguel Elizalde. (Photo credit: Kahimyang.com)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s recent pitch on reviewing the Cold War-era Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the United States sounded like tough talk. Whether the defense chief can convince the United States to finally say in no uncertain terms that it will use fire and sword to defend the Philippines against foreign aggression is, however, wishful thinking.


New risks loom in South China Sea
Bobby M. Tuazon
Philippine Daily Inquiter,
October 06, 2018
Posted by CenPEG
Oct. 08, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte faces in 2019 new security risks in the South China Sea (SCS), as the United States steps up its war games in the Philippines that entwine with bigger operations in the SCS up to the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.

Sept. 30 encounter at Gaven Reef: USS Decatur (left) and China's Luyang II destroyer Lanzhou (right). US Navy photo release


Is there a vote for federalism?
By: Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet
July 25, 2018, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Proponents of federalism face the daunting task of vending a Charter change (Cha-cha) seen by the masses as not a priority or beneficial to their future.


Kim’s pivot to economy
By: Bobby M. Tuazon -
Philippine Daily Inquirer
June 18, 2018
Posted by CenPEG


Make or break for the Trump-Kim summit
By: Bobby M. Tuazon - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / June 02, 2018 Posted by CenPEG June 5, 2018


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