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Is Senator Koko Pimentel Falling Short of his Promise to Present Smartmatic to the Public?

senator


By: Elena Grace Flores

During the last Senate committee meeting on September 13, 2018, Senator Koko Pimentel pledged that Smartmatic people must divulge their knowledge on the alleged 2016 election fraud. Two months had passed by and this promise is still hanging. However, he prioritizes the filing of his questionable certificate of candidacy and his recent marriage. Does this mean that there’s no more public hearing on this issue?



YouTube video by Radyo Pilipinas 738

[VIDEO]: Disqualification case isinampa laban kay Sen. Koko Pimentel sa Comelec


Two Kinds of Senate Hearings

There are two types of hearings in the Senate. First is the public hearing where it is open to the media and the public. Then, the executive sessions where the media and the public are not allowed. Only members of the Senate and the Congress can attend such meeting. Atty. Glenn Chong’s team members are worried that Senator Pimentel’s committee would opt for the executive session. Given that this could save Smartmatic from further embarrassments.


Pre-judged Case?

Smartmatic in partnership with Comelec is obviously very powerful. Only a public hearing can justify a clean mid-term election. However, it is notable that Pimentel’s committee is very quiet nowadays. It could be that an executive session is now cooking if the running Senator is in connivance with the riding in tandem, as Atty. Chong puts it.


Regaining the Public’s Trust

As long as the Smartmatic witnesses cannot be presented in a public hearing, the people will surely doubt the integrity of the elections in 2019. It would look like the committee is protecting the Comelec and Smartmatic fraud syndicates. The Senate would surely lose its credibility as a worst-case scenario.



Confusion on the Law

The Constitution provides that the term of office of a senator is six years and that no senator can run for more than two consecutive terms. “In the case of Pimentel, he lost in the May 2007 election for senator but eventually won his election protest against Senator (Juan Miguel) Zubiri in August 2011 and served merely the remaining two years unexpired term of Zubiri from August 2011 to June 2013”. Pimentel’s election lawyers cited the 2017 case of Albania vs. Comelec, where the High Court reiterated its previous similar doctrines in other election cases that the period of time that an elective official served after winning his election protest “did not constitute a complete and full service of his term as he did not hold the office for the full term of three years to which he was supposedly entitled to.” Other lawyers also disagree with this analysis.

Newly-Wed Blues

Pimentel, 54, married partner Kathryna Yu, 36, in a civil wedding ceremony last October 18, at the Coconut Palace. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio officiated the wedding, which was attended by big names in politics and showbiz. President Rodrigo Du30 and close aide Bong Go who also runs for Senator led the principal sponsors. Despite the newly-wed blues, Atty. Chong still insists on Pimentel’s response as to when the next public hearing would be on the election fraud issue?


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Glenn Chong Asks Comelec where’s the 10 Missing Voting Machines are for Election 2019?

election


By: Elena Grace Flores

“Massive testing” will start today by vote counting machines and other election systems for their use in 2019. This will definitely be used as a “massive propaganda” of the syndicate, said Atty. Glenn Chong. He also joins the PDK, DDS, and BBM group leaders to talk about the VP electoral fraud which is a hot topic in the country today.

PDK DDS BBM 2018Attorney Glenn Chong talking about VP Electoral Fraud. Hot topic.

Posted by Raffy Gutierrez on Saturday, 3 November 2018

YouTube video by Raffy Gutierrez 

[VIDEO]: Attorney Glenn Chong talking about VP Electoral Fraud.


10 Missing Voting Machines

The Comelec admits that the 10 voting machines are indeed missing. However, they cannot explain to the public why they have not been returned to the poll agency yet after the 2016 elections. This is until now after a long 2 years and 5 months has passed. Their officials are not even taking responsibility for their disappearance.  The Senate hearing on September 13, 2018, got the record for the admission.


Cheating in Election 2019 is More Likely

Due to Comelec’s incompetence in safeguarding the voting machines, the people will always think that the next election in 2019 cannot be a clean and honest one because these machines can actually generate votes for the manipulators, added Chong.


Independent Operation Theory

INDEPENDENT OPERATION: These machines have been stolen by the politicians who are the conniving candidates with the syndicate as per the case in Biliran in 2010. They can be used in to conduct their own fraudulent activities to match with the maneuvers of the Comelec and Smartmatic personnel. There are various cheating procedures that can be done technically using those devices.



Syndicated Operation Scenario

SYNDICATED OPERATION: These machines will be used as cloned VCMs. This can be a widespread operation by the Comelec syndicates and Smartmatic itself. If the Comelec and Smartmatic are not guilty of this scenario, they must have been found already. Their whereabouts should not be a mystery. The culprits must also suffer the consequence. To the contrary, the Comelec just refuses to answer.

Tools for Cheating

Chong explains to the PDK, DDS, and BBM group leaders its significance. The missing VCMs are enough to let any Senator win. Take the case of the 459 result transmissions a day before the election in 2016. That can happen again in 2019. They would surely make use of the plan by just setting the issue aside. However, the PDK, DDS, and BBM groups continue to make noises.


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The President has No Jurisdiction Over the Comelec Unlike the Customs

customs


By: Elena Grace Flores

Since the Bureau of Customs is under the Department of Finance, it is directly under the Office of the President. The Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, and their staff may be removed by President Rodrigo Du30 when he loses confidence in them. On the other hand, the Commission on Elections is an independent constitutional office established under the constitution. The Congress of the Philippines has the authority over the agency through the drafting of resolutions that can change election laws and agreed upon by the Supreme Court as per the judicial review of such acts.



YouTube video by ABS-CBN News

[VIDEO]: Civilian personnel still ‘in control’, says new Customs chief


Impeachments by the Congress

Therefore, the Commissioners of the Commission on Election can only be removed through impeachment proceedings where only the Congress can facilitate. As a result, it is not possible for any judicial reviews to allow any military takeover to happen. This is very different from the circumstances surrounding the Bureau of Customs. This is why abuses in the poll agency can flourish because the abusers can build their supporters among lawmakers.


No Active Soldiers at the Customs

Malacañang clarifies that soldiers will not be given appointments or designations at the Bureau of Customs. This is after critics said that a military “takeover” at the bureau would violate the Constitution. President Du3o said he wants the military to “take over” Customs. He appoints Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the country’s former military chief, to the corruption-ridden agency.


Shabu Shipment Incident

Du30 recently removed Isidro Lapeña as Customs chief. Lapeña was criticized over the multi-billion shabu shipment that allegedly slipped past the country’s ports. He also announced that all Customs officials and personnel will be on “floating status.” In a Palace news conference, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, said: “the President is not appointing or designating any member of the armed forces.”



State of Lawlessness

Panelo argued that the situation at the Customs is akin to “lawlessness” which must be addressed by the President at all costs. “The Constitution says when there is lawless violence, the President can call out the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he said.


Just to Intimidate

Panelo also explained that the soldiers who might be sent to the Customs will still have to answer to AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr., not Guerrero. This is just to intimidate abusive customs personnel. Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that there’s no “military takeover” order from the President at all. He would, however, take part in the drafting of the guidelines for the plan, along with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. The people should know by now why Du30 acted out quickly on the customs’ case. Whereas undermining the Comelec’s incompetence amidst the revelations on digital electoral fraud.


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See How Bongbong Marcos Lashes Out on Critics during His Governance Speech in QC

Governance


By: Elena Grace Flores

Rewarding good governance in QC barangays was indeed a worthwhile night for Bongbong Marcos. He spent time with the barangay awardees during a ceremony after mingling with the residents in the morning. He lashes out on his detractors who questioned his credentials as the event’s guest of honor. Marcos has served as Congressman in the Second District of Ilocos Norte. He was also the Governor of Ilocos Norte where he served for three consecutive terms. Additionally, he was the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives in 2007. Then, he won a seat in the Philippine Senate. If these achievements in public service are not enough, he told his critics to know the father of the barangays. It is no other than his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos.



YouTube video by Bongbong Marcos

[VIDEO]: A night spent with the barangay awardees and a morning spent with the barangay residents. Thank you so much, Quezon City!


Good Governance at the LGUs

Marcos always believes in the importance of the LGUs, having spent most of my public service career in local government. He said on his social media accounts; To all the barangays in Quezon City, congratulations on a job well done! Saturday morning well spent as I again joined the residents of Barangays Escopa 1, 2, 3 and 4, Quezon City for a medical mission. Marcos remembers that one of his first stops during the 2016 campaign was also in the area.

Smartmatic’s Role in the 2019 Election

Marcos’ protest against the presumptive VP, Leni Robredo during the 2016 elections is not resolved yet. However, the election season for the May 13, 2019, national and local elections is set to open soon. The filing of the certificates of candidacy of aspiring politicians is still ongoing. Although the 2019 elections are still months away, many people doubt it if the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has enough time to resolve the issues surrounding its alliance with Smartmatic. The controversial exposé of former Biliran representative and clean elections advocate, lawyer Glenn Chong puts them into the hot seat.


Justification of the Comelec

The PNoy-appointed Comelec commissioners legitimized the supply contract for the 2019 midterm elections to the Venezuelan-based firm. This is by exploiting the “considered sold” stipulation in the 2016 lease contract with Smartmatic. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez who recently resigned as focal person of the Local Source Code Review Committee after a photo of an actress wearing a bikini was shown from his laptop in a Comelec event justified the contract award saying that it was not really a renewal but an “activation of the option to purchase (OTP)” the PCOS machines. Apparently, the decision to exercise the OTP was made by the Comelec en banc in a minute or unsigned resolution on December 18, 2017. That minute resolution remains unpublished until now.



Considered Sold Because of Election Protest

The lease contract contained a spy-like provision that forces Comelec to exercise its option to purchase (OTP) the PCOS machines from Smartmatic. It reads as follows: “6.9 All goods still in the possession of Comelec as of 01 December 2016 because of an election protest or audit requirement shall be considered sold to Comelec pursuant to its option to purchase under this contract. The Comelec shall pay the corresponding price in accordance with the financial proposal within ten working days from receipt by Comelec of the invoice from the provider covering said goods. This is without prejudice to Comelec requiring the protestant to shoulder the costs.”


No Clean Election with Smartmatic

The PNoy appointees obviously knew Comelec would have to exercise the lease contract’s OTP clause for the 2019 elections when they purposely kept the PCOS machines in storage at their warehouse in Laguna. They made no effort to surrender it to Smartmatic before December 1, 2016. This constitutes gross negligence or a treacherous and premeditated act to pawn the upcoming elections to Smartmatic. A democratic election to be credible must not only be fair and clean but must also be seen to be fair and clean. This will not happen if Smartmatic remains the technology provider in the May 2019 elections.

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Is the Supreme Court Now Leaning Towards Bongbong Marcos’ Favor in his VP Electoral Protest?

supreme court


By: Elena Grace Flores

Bongbong Marcos served a manifestation of appreciation to the Supreme Court sitting as the PET and Omnibus Motion. He is stating in the manifestation that he is grateful for the PET’s decision. This is with the threshold not being the final determinant of the votes, with the ballot to still undergo appreciation to determine the true intent of the voter. Meanwhile, the culture of seniority at the SC is now back. This is as Chief Justice Teresita De Castro finishes her shortest term ever. Fairness can’t be alien anymore knowing that the blues now balances with the yellows.



YouTube video by GMA News

[VIDEO]: Mga empleyado ng SC, nagkulay asul sa huling flag-raising ceremony ni Chief Justice De Castro


Omnibus Motion

Marcos is also expressing gratitude for the PET for maintaining Rule 43 which states that marks that don’t reach 50% of the oval will not be considered valid votes. However, for the Omnibus Motion, BBM is asking PET to withdraw part of their decision to use the election returns as the basis for the segregation of the ballots at the recount proceedings. Because this is in opposition to a previous decision of the Supreme Court versus the Comelec in the Lerias case.

Vital Evidence from the Supreme Court

In accordance with this, the Supreme Court says that the ballots serve as the strongest evidence and not the election returns. The Supreme Court adds that the election returns will only be used only if there are no ballots. With the ballots still there, it follows that the election returns shouldn’t be used. Consequently, Marcos asked again not to use the decrypted ballot images because they have been compromised.


The Use of the Decrypted Images

The PET has already said before that the decrypted ballot images will be used in place of the original if they are unreadable. The Supreme Court says that the decrypted ballot images serve as a functional equivalent of the original. This is also acting on the precedence of the cases Vinzons-Chato versus HRET and Maliksi versus Comelec. The PET further adds that  BBM was not able to present evidence that the decrypted ballot images have been compromised.

Marcos’ Opposition to Use the Digital Prints

BBM’s camp, however, argues that these cases shouldn’t be used as a basis now because there is a difference between the images and the original ballots of the 2016 elections. This is regarding the squares that Smartmatic added to the ballot images. This shows that the images are not faithful reproductions of the original.



Wet and Damaged Ballots

With regards to the missing ballot images, BBM also expresses concern. The images from the VCM when taken are in a chronological order. Furthermore, each image has a sequence number that serves as control marks. However, it has been discovered that there are missing images on the first and middle parts and there are items added at the end. This shows as a clear indication of tampering.


Supreme Court Decision

With the ballot images as the basis of the results, manipulating them equates to manipulating the elections. This is clear evidence that the ballot images are compromised. In Naga City and Camarines Sur only, there are 37,159 ballot images that have been compromised in this way. This was shown in a Senate hearing on July 31 however 2 months after and there still is no answer from Smartmatic or Comelec. Nevertheless, CJ De Castro’s one month stint in the branch’s highest office seems like making a difference. For one, the yellow atmosphere now becomes blue which is a symbol of peace and harmony that is in line with Marcos’ idealism for unity.