You know how the ConAss people like Luis Villafuerte and Prospero Nograles are desperately trying to create a "justiciable controversy" in the Supreme Court that can be used for the dastardly end of perpetuating their Mistress in power? They should take lessons from Lawyer Harry Roque!
I am glad that Comelec has just signed a contract with Smartmatic/TIM to automate the 2010 elections. Warts and all, I think that this is a necessary and historic first step towards a whole new deal when it comes to democratic elections in the Philippines, which are a big fat joke on the electorates. But the chances of automated elections being cancelled in 2010 is apparently so high in the opinion of the principals that the winning bidder reportedly insisted on a contract provision, agreed to by Comelec, that the vendor would be paid for its systems and services even if automation is called off.
Many observers are convinced that the TRAPOS (traditional politicians) and manual election cheating operators, desperately want to, and can still scuttle election automation and force the usual manual election in 2010, so we are a long, long way off from a hoped for clean, honest and automated election that does not require over a month for the results to be announced while they are cooked.
Strangely enough, the prospect of killing automation is being bolstered most strongly by the most unlikely people. Consider for example the suit by lawyer and UP Law School Prof. HARRY ROQUE to stop the deal, filed in the Supreme Court (SCoRP) just 24 hours before the contract signing. Although no TRO was issued to stop the signing, SCoRP can now sit on and possibly pull out this very lawsuit and simply kill off the automation deal between now and the 2010 elections. We should not forget the Decision in 2004 which stopped Ben Abalos' Automatic Counting Machines project, ITF v. Comelec--which could just as easily happen again as "Roque v. Comelec."
Harry Roque has effectively handed the Palace a Magic Bullet with which to stop automated elections in 2010 dead in its tracks. Please note that it was very important that this suit was filed not by the likes of Oliver "Lolo" Lozano or other known Palace toady, but by someone just like Harry Roque, an ardent Administration critic. As it is a plea for certiorari and prohibition, SCoRP assumes original jurisdiction, can issue a TRO at any time and for virtually any reason (such as to hear oral arguments or testimonies of experts and amici curiae)--all of which could seriously, if not fatally compromise the implementation. SCoRP could even conceivably micromanage the implementation, allowing for example partial implementation, thus allowing manual election fraud to occur in the usual places, like ARMM and Mindanao. The salient point of course is that the Court can decide to do nothing until it decides to do something--thanks to Harry Roque!
Just WHEN the Court does something is almost as important as the nature of its very rulings. Thus, what Harry Roque might have thought of as his duty as a lawyer to do -- to question the validity of a Public Contract affecting elections themselves -- turns out to be a double-edged sword that the powers-that-be which he so ardently disdains and opposes. They are only too glad to accept such a weapon from him and wield it with a swift and merciless granting of Harry Roque's prayer that election automation not be implemented in 2010.
This news can only be cheered on by the likes of Virgilio Garcillano, Lintang Bedol and their coterie of manual election fixers--as well as aforementioned traditional politicos--who can all plan the usual Dirty Tricks of Dagdag Bawas Their black hearts can only be gladdened to see that those doing the Dirty Work for them against automated elections are not exactly Palace stooges or Congress toadies, but bona fide divas and doyens of Civil Society--the dahlinks of Main and Blog Stream Media, the creme de la creme of the intellectual Opposition!SOURCE: Philippine Commentary