Tag Archives: May 2010 Polls

Automated polls’ ‘birth pains’ provide hard lessons – Daniel Razon

For many, the May 10 automated elections had the same issues as the previous manual polls. It’s just that this time the tales of fraud are told with a cutting-edge twist.

While many Filipinos believed that the May 10 automated elections was groundbreaking in a sense that it had transmitted results in a surprising speed, there remained suspicions on the authenticity of the results.

In fact, despite the assurance given by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic-TIM, the company handling the technical side of the May 10 polls, that the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines used in the polls are fraud-free, there were still allegations of poll rigging.

Starting with the videotaped interview of a masked man calling himself as Robin (more known to the media as “koala bear” because of his mask) last May 18 that linked the two leading vice presidential contenders – Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay – in poll manipulation, string of complaints of fraud followed suit.

There was even an alleged “Hello Nico” phone conversation between Comelec commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer and Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno in connection with the May 10 national and local elections that was being heard by the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms last May 26.

For veteran broadcaster and host of morning show “Good Morning Kuya,” Daniel Razon, the hubbub rising from the country’s first automated elections is but a natural reaction to any new endeavor.

In a press interview during the concert “Pro-test Broadcast” last May 17, Razon said that just like in any other beginnings, the polls last May 10 has undergone “birth pains.”

Daniel Razon answers questions from reporters present during the press briefing of Protest Broadcast concert event.

Razon admitted that “whether it is manual or automated … (vote) cheating remains a possibility.”

What further escalated Razon’s worries on the poll system was the slow learning curve of the Comelec and Smartmatic amid the numerous simulations of the PCOS machines in different areas.

“During the many simulations that we have done in the past, there were many lessons that should have been learned but remained unaddressed.” Kuya Daniel lamented. “Sometimes we have to learn our lessons the hard way.”

True to Razon’s comment, the Comelec and the Smartmatic, as of this writing, are busy disproving the accusations of massive cheating using the PCOS machines being heard in Congress, a task that could have been prevented if only they have learned their lessons and corrected beforehand the foreseen glitches.(By Anthony Chua)

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A Precinct that was in Burgos Elementary School

Voters in this part of the metro are as hot as the sun.  At Burgos Elementary School in Pasay City, as the heat rises up to 39 degrees, residents troop to their designated precinct to exercise their right.

A cluttered street. Along Burgos St. in Pasay City a number of sample ballots, flyers and other election paraphernalia scattered across the heated pavement as voters passes by.

Outside the precinct. A number of successful voters gallivant outside the precinct and talks about what could be the turnout of election, the PCOS machine, who’s the new mayor and everything in between.

Room II-Masunurin. In this room, a man obediently checks his name to get his precinct number – for the 3rd time.

Innocence. This child innocently sits on a dirty hallway unmindful of the pressure around him or the future that lies ahead after the election day.

Holding area. Excited to experience the first automated system, they fill up the room with noise that makes the environment even hotter than the scorching heat outside.

Ground floor. In spite humid weather, dirt and unpleasant smell inside the busy school, voters line up diligently from ground to second floor.

Focus. The moment they have been waiting for. “We need change, seriously.”


[Citizen Report by Anne Gonzales]

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Alleged Vote-Buying and Flying Voters in Los Baños, Laguna

Later in the day of elections, members of a volunteer group pinpointed to us a group of people a couple of blocks away from Los Baños Central Elementary School, saying that those people were participating in vote-buying activities.

Lady in red
Lady in red
It was noticeable that the lady wearing a red blouse was actively moving and talking to the people around the area, carrying some plastic bags with her and handing them over to other people.

People swarming
People swarming
After a while, people were swarming towards the lady in red. It seems like they were discussing something. Some of them were looking at us and pointing their fingers towards us.

Riding a jeepney
Riding a jeepney
Later on, it seems they’ve decided to leave the area and after gathering themselves, took a jeepney.
Riding a jeepney, looking at us


Flying voters

Around 4PM of Sunday (May 9, 2010), day before the elections, more than 27 buses and some more jeepneys were seen heading towards Trace college which was declared by Los Baños Mayoral candidate Ton Genuino as his residence in his Certificate of Candidacy. Based on the witnesses, they were told that the passengers of the fleet of buses were poll watchers to be trained using Trace college as a venue for Ton’s brother–Erwin Genuino, a Mayoral candidate in Makati City.

Here are some clips of the said convoy.

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Photos of election in Los Baños, Laguna

Mayondon Elementary School

Early morning queue
Early morning queue
Around 7 o’clock in the morning, Mayondon Elementary School in Los Baños is already filled with long queues of voters waiting for their turn to enter their designated voting areas.

More voters arriving
More voters arriving
Voters from areas near the said school continue to swarm the place within an hour after officially opening the precints.


Lopez Elementary School

A thirsty voter
Thirsty voter
As the sun rises to midday, a voter grabs a cup of water to drink her thirst out.

Disorganized queue
Disorganized queue
At this moment, some voters are starting to complain and get irritated with the slow-moving and disorganized queue. As you can see in the photo, it’s hard to find where the starting and the ending points of the queues go.

Umbrellas out
Umbrellas out
As the heat of the sun intensifies, some voters took out their umbrellas and shielded themselves against the scorching light.

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Ang Dating Daan members harassed, shooed away by election officers

Cansinala, Pampanga – Voters in Cansinala, Pampanga were shooed away by three members of Board of Election Inspectors and a baranggay captain because they don’t speak Kapampangan, a dialect in Pampanga north of the Philippines.

Local Philippine channel, UNTV  were also barred from covering precinct 19.   Reports from UNTV showed that voters, belonging from the Ang Dating Daan group led by Bro. Eli Soriano, were being shooed away because they are not supporting Tetangco, a running Mayor in the said province.

“They said that our faces are not familiar with them that’s why they won’t allow us to vote,” one of the voters barred from voting said.

ADD reportedly have been supporting Tetangco’s rival because of numerous harassment that the group was experiencing under the incumbent administration.

Daniel Razon, host of Pollwatch 2010 on UNTV 37, calls on the media men to be more watchful and report the said harassment to Comelec officials. [Citizen Report by Anne Gonzales]

Kodigo. While waiting for his turn, a voter makes one last review of his bet.

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Long queue amid glitches, hot weather mark first automated Philippine Polls

Apalit, Pampanga – Enthusiastic voters at the Sampaloc Elementary School in Apalit, Pampanga started lining up as early as 3 a.m. only to be dismayed of the long queue and slow processing of votes.

Some voters who came at 6 to 7  a.m. were only able to finish within a range of five  to six hours.

Long queue of voters at first automated polls in the Philippines

While many were seen exhausted but patiently waited for their turn to cast their votes – enduring  all the inconveniences and the very high temperature –  some went home early without waiting for their turn to cast vote.

At Precinct No. 49 alone, 646 voters were listed registered while in Precinct No. 50, there are 878t.  With these numbers, the average number of registered voters for these Precincts, were 770, more or less.

The COMELEC estimated time for each voter to be able to completely finish one (1) vote is eight (8) minutes.

Long queue of voters amid very hot weather mark the Philippines' foray into automated polls.

However, based on an actual observation from 7:30 AM to 1:47PM, only 336 voters out of 646 in the list were able to cast their votes.  Each voter consumed an average of 10 minutes at its fastest to complete the whole process of voting.

With these figures, out of the average of 770 registered voters in each precinct 43.63% only have cast their votes as of 1:47PM or within 6 hours and 47 minutes.

The voting period was said to have been extended until 7:00 PM but with barely five hours left for the almost 56% of voters who have not cast their votes:  How much more in those areas where peaceful election is unlikely?

Another valid observation culled from the new automated election system is the trust and confidence that votes are actually counted.  PCOS Machine do not show confirmation that votes cast were indeed registered or correctly read by the said machine. [Citizen Report by Rose Cemanes]

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UNTV PollWatcher Ako Blog Launched

Launched today, UNTV blog is geared to providing you with the latest and the hottest elections-related coverage by local and international press starting May 9 to the declaration of the new officials.

With support from our vast network of citizen journalists, researchers and Pollwatchers, we hope to provide you this public service to document events, situations and happenings related to the Filipinos’ call to choose his new leaders for better governance.

Pollwatch 2010 Coverage pre-election day

Pollwatch 2010 with Kuya Daniel Razon in the panel.

Alongside this endeavor, UNTV Pollwatch 2010 initiated a parallel public service works to pool Pollwatchers in their respective areas.

To reach the Secretariat, please contact our Textline: (63) 906-319.6484.  Email us at pollwatch_untv@yahoo.com.  Visit us at our Twitter account: @pollwatch, and PollWatch 2010 blog:  pollwatch.wordpress.com.

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