Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Upon What Moral Principle?"

mbudsman Merceditas Gutierrez shot back that defiant question when asked by a news reporter yesterday whether she ought not consider resigning her post after throwing back the Decision ITF vs. Comelec at the Supreme Court's face and absolving all public and private respondents therein of ALL criminal liability.

Upon what moral principle should you consider resigning, M'am?


You were grossly negligent in ignoring the very testimonies in your Supplemental Resolution which not only corroborate but also build upon the findings of the Supreme Court when it first declared as null and void Comelec's contract with MPC.

Notwithstanding your Conclusions, these testimonies and statements, taken in the context of the Supreme Court decision and the facts that they represent, all point to a PATTERN of acts and policies, omissions and commissions by the Comelec, and its Bids and Awards Committee that have resulted in a self-evident disadvantage to the government and the people to the tune of 1.3 billion pesos of useless junk on the Fourth floor of the Comelec building in Intramuros.

There is bad faith evident in the drawing of conclusions NOT supported by the very testimonies purported to do so. There is manifest partiality towards the political allies of the Ombudsman in the Comelec when she did so.

It was necessary to engage in elements of obscurantism, bald illogicality and plain pseudoscientific silliness on the part of the writers of the Supplemental Resolution because those are the very elements in Comelec's actions too, that they must hide from scrutiny.

Only the Supreme Court can judge whether the Ombudsman's Report is acceptable enough for them to maintain their credibility and authority.


Bokyo said...

Usually when you overturn a decision, from positive to negative you should take a greater task of exerting harder effort in contrast to the reverse which you only need as they say an iota of evidence. What I can't understand with the resolution is that never did the BAC nor the Comelec admitted or acknowledged as having committed any mistake, error or misinterpretations, and even the SR seems to have justified all the actions of both. But in their conclusion, they simply rely and accepted that it would seem to be a judgment call or misinterpretations.
They missed the main point of the Supreme Court decision. That as very important institution, as to being the one task to take charge of the election or the automation process, they should have been more careful and deliberately more faithful in performing their tasks.

BTW, Dean, I would just like to know, if you are aware, are the ACM machines capable of being fed manually? Or maybe if Postigo is reading this can answer.

Rizalist said...

bokyo, the ACMs of MPC look like they are fed just like you load paper into a laser printer. There is paper bin at the front where the ballot forms are placed, manually of course. Then they are scanned by the ACM and counted.

More to the point was the issue of how hard or easy it is to fool these machines by feeding or refeeding ballots into them. I would be interested to know the details of the testing. If the thing leaves marks on ballots it has already counted, what happens if some kind of fault occurs and the ballot needs to be recounted. or even if it doesnt, can the machine be fooled easily, such as by whiting out or taping over any marks it leaves?

Bokyo said...

I can see from TV that forms are being fed automatically, although manually being placed on a feeding tray. What I am curious is if there is an option to scan ballots manually. If it can't, it could really be a problem have they allowed these machines to be used. Even the most sophisticated copying machines have this capability just in case the operator continuously experience paper jam. What if some ballots cannot really be scanned this way?
Besides, these machines should have been tested anticipating the worst situations, not under "perfect" or even normal situations.

ricelander said...

Just wondering: when the SC determined the automation contract to be anomalous was it not treading on questions of facts? If it has been convinced enough that indeed the transaction was anomalous, why did it skirt the responsibility of passing verdict on the culpability of those involved? In establishing such irregularity, I suppose each acts and decisions found anomalous could have been easily traced to a particular person or group. When the SC tossed the problem of resolving culpability to the Ombudsman did it not, if unwittingly, open up itself to the review of an inferior court? I think the mess is a result of the SC involving itself on questions of facts then declining to finish the job.

Rizalist said...


I believe it is a process very similar to IMPEACHMENT-CONVICTION-REMOVAL FROM OFFICE and then criminal prosecution.

The Supreme Court was only asked to adjudge whether the Comelec had gravely abused its discretion in awarding the Contract.

In answering that question, I do believe it occurred to them that they had POSSIBLE criminal liability involved in the activity, considering how blatant the lapses were; how manifest the partiality of Comelec was in shepherding thru the MPC bid; and the evident bad faith in not obeying its own rules and requirements.

In fact, that is WHY they ordered the Ombudsman to look into this angle.

BTW, just because ITF vs. Comelec was NOT a criminal case, does NOT mean they Supreme Court was not using facts from documents and testimony. They were not trying facts because the facts they needed were not really on trial as they could be deduced from things like the Comelec's RFP and other public acts and documents.



Is it true that the ACMs have already been pilot testede - in an ARRM (Mindanao) election?

Rizalist said...

The history of the ACMs is completely and exhaustively discussed in ITF vs. Comelec

Yes they pilot tested some other system of counting votes in ARMM. If memory serves they failed when some yokels poured water on them, thus disabling and damaging the acms.

But I don't think they were MPC acms. All 1991 of those are on the 4th floor of the Comelec Bldg in Intramuros. The old structure is groaning from their albatrossian weight.

Bokyo said...

Hi Dean,
I saw the replay of Viewpoint last night but I was not able to catch the earlier part. The discussions there are very good and the lady lawyer is also very good. I am not sure which office she is representing but she defended the side of Comelec and Ombudsman very well. But what struck me was that she said that the software has already been finalized. I thought even after the SC decision this were still unavailable. Can they do that even when the SC already made the ruling? How come? Did they continue the dealing with MPC?

Rizalist said...

She was playing fast and loose with the facts. According to the Ombudsman's resolution, they WOULD HAVE finished the software and that they were going to do a test on January 12, 2004 that would have "finished" testing the final software by February (3 months before it would have been used). Oh but on Jan 13, 2004 the Supreme Court stopped them.

Yeah right, I've heard better excuses from freshmen who didn't do their homework!

(I think that was Atty. Elamparo of the Comelec).

You know they can say anything, and if people aren't really following the story, there is now way to see the context and the details.