By: Elena Grace Flores Atty. Glenn Chong, cannot believe Comelec spokesperson, James Jimenez’ disclosure. He said that the Commission on Elections prepares for the possible deluge of fake news. Jimenez made this known now that the month-long overseas voting is ongoing. There are various reports of irregularities from volunteers who are Filipino overseas contract workers. Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom and the UAE have some initial reports that challenged the integrity of the 2016 election as per Bongbong Marcos’ VP electoral protest first course of action that was set aside by the Supreme Court.
YouTube video byAng Malayang Pilipino
[VIDEO]: Atty. Glenn Chong: HULING-HULI ang KASINUNGALINGAN ni JAMES JIMENEZ ng COMELEC
Atty. Chong Debunks Jimenez’s Claim
He cited what happened in the 2016 overseas voting when a voter made claims that what was printed in his voter receipt were not the ones he voted for. “The person who complained used a ballpen in voting for a particular position and then used marker for the other. When the voter receipt came out, the vote marked with ballpen obviously was not read by the vote counting machine,” said Jimenez. Atty. Chong challenges Jimenez to demonstrate in public if the VCM rejects the one with the ballpen shades.
Attack on the Election System Integrity?
Jimenez added: “That video was uploaded within the first day. That basically set the tone for the attack on the integrity of the election system.” This is a rather defensive comment of Jimenez. Is he protecting the reputation of the Smartmatic machines? According to Chong’s IT experts, the device is already obsolete. There’s also no doubt that cheating is possible using them as per the testimonies of other countries that have used them.
Fake News WatchJimenez said that another strategy to discredit the automated system in the previous polls was the spread of information that voting was already done and counted. That this and that candidate already won. “That is what we are watching out for,” he said. Perhaps, the Comelec spokesperson meant that the results were already transmitted to the main server from some VCMs prior to the election day which is a fact.
Chong vs. Jimenez’s Call to the Public
Jimenez said they were appealing to the public to inform the agency if they see or hear such form of fake news so that it can correct it. “We call on the public to forward to us any such news or information that they would encounter to the Comelec so that we can quickly find the truth and correct such claims,” he stated. On the other hand, Chong also calls on all voters to always check their receipts if the candidates they voted for are printed there. Then to report any discrepancy at once.
One Month Preparation
Overseas voting starts from April 13 and ends on May 13. The clean election advocates have at least a month to record the trends of anomalous processes. The idea is to have all complaints be properly recorded. Should these irregularities become massive, such records can be the basis for failure of election protest. Observing the exchanges involving unsatisfied ofws, it seems that Marcos was right after all.