Why I don’t Think There’s Was Poll Fraud

It’s sad to say that we’re once again giving the impression that in the Philippines no one loses an election. Everyone is cheated out of winning. The news was abuzz yesterday about the surfacing of one whistle blower saying that the 2010 elections were rigged and that the he was part of the group of people that was rigging the elections.

This tall tale sounds like pure bitterness hatched by people who lost in the elections. Let me express my opinions as to why I don’t think that this particular whistle blower is telling the truth as well as my opinion that at the very least the national elections were not rigged.

The automated election is a whole different monster than the elections of past. To cheat in the automated elections you actually have to do it very high up in the structure or at the very grass roots. Let me explain this. In order to cheat the elections you need to get someone high up from Smartmatic to give you access to the source code, the mechanics of the elections, the machines, etc.. That would mean bribing somebody way up. Even then there is also a check and balance from Comelec so you’d have to bribe those people as well. Granted that Comelec doesn’t have the most sterling of reputations it doesn’t change the fact that you should be bribing the high level officers. Even after doing so it’s one thing to have access to those information and it’s another to have the capability to do something about it.

You can posses the source code but given the complexity of programming, not everyone can do it. You need highly specialized people to alter and write a new set of program to cheat for you. There are not a lot of people that can do that. After that you need to be able to place that program back to the machines in order to cheat. The notion that was said by the whistle blower that they intercepted signals and sent their own is hogwash. First, it’s not that simple. Sure you can jam a signal but intercepting it and sending your own is quite difficult. The transmission is encrypted and by my understanding it’s 128 bit key and that’s not an easy thing to crack. It’s not impossible but I don’t the likes of the whistle blower can do it.

_Edited_

As my friend “Carlo”:http://www.nargalzius.com pointed out, if you want to hack the automated elections you’d probably have to do it through the server level and not the PCOS machines themselves. This would be a more plausible route. Less manpower and easier to keep a secret. Again for this to be possible you’d need to buy people at the higher levels and not the level the purported whistle blower said.

The other way to cheat the elections and a more plausible way of doing so is buy actually buying the votes. There was a news report that said people would take voters aside and pay them actually not to vote. Thus allowing only the supporters of a particular candidate to vote therefore assuring that the candidate won. Now this would be more possible and doable. Unfortunately this only lends itself well to local elections and not national. The sheer amount of votes you need to buy make it impossible to do it via this method for the national elections.

But my biggest argument as to why I think that the national elections were not rigged is the plain and simple fact that the results are consistent. The tally of the votes are consistent with the surveys and exit polls conducted by SWS, Pulse Asia, ABS-CBN, GMA, PPCRV and other organizations. The only difference would be the degree of margin of victory. In all the surveys the result pretty much said that Aquino would win, Erap would be second, Villar third and so on and so forth.

Now people are saying that there was a conspiracy among all of these organizations to put Aquino as President. C’mon people. You can cheat, buy, steal some of the time but you can’t do it all of the time and with everyone. A conspiracy among all these organizations means you need to buy ABS, GMA, SWS, Pulse Asia, PPCRV, etc. That’s not an easy task nor a cheap one.

But what pisses me off the most is that by implying the above statement it means that you’re questioning the integrity of the various people behind these organizations. Especially the journalists who work their asses off to give you the news. It means that Princeton educated and CNN trained Maria Resa was part of this conspiracy as well. She being the head of the news deptartment means that she must have knowledge that they’re reporting erronoeus data. Seriosuly? It means that the reporters, researchers and other people working in the media department were also bought off? Coz I have not heard a single accusation from them. At least nothing of this magnitude.

The main reason why all of this is coming out now is the plain and simple fact that our politicians can’t stand to lose. For all of Villar’s flaws I at least admired him for admitting defeat. Until he changes his stand on that I will respect him. To a certain extend Gibo also. As for the rest stop whinning, take it like a man, so to speak and move on.

Don’t get me started on congress wanting to investigate poll fraud. A lot of them lost in the elections and now they want to investigate why? That’s not fair you can’t have a participant of the election investigate a contest he just participated in. That’s biased. Have an independent body do so.

I sincerely believe that if any cheating was done during the past election it was probably done at the local level and not at the way that is being mentioned. I believe there was still coercion, vote buying and bullying in the provinces or the remote areas of the country but at the national level I believe that the results are fair and valid. Believe me some of the results I wish were not true.

Some question why Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada topped the elections. There’s a plain and simple explanation for this. People vote for who they know. Especially since most of our populations is undeducated or under educated, they don’t choose based on qualifications. They vote because they know this person and to a certain extend they feel that they can relate to them.

Let me tell you a story. I’ve been going to PGH for the past 4 years. I know this orderly who helps me whenever I’m there. I asked him who he was voting for and why. He mentioned Erap, Jinggoy and Bong. I asked how come? He said despite what people say the three of those have actually made a difference to the poor patients in PGH. During Erap’s time a CT Scan machine broke. This machine was being used by charity patients. Within a short time frame a new one was sent by Erap. Bong and Jinggoy also have letters of guarantee on standby in PGH to guarantee assistance for patients who can’t afford to pay. To those people it actually makes a difference.

Do I want the three of them in office? No. I didn’t vote for them. why? Because I believe their approach to the problems of society is wrong. However that’s my opinion and some people think otherwise. I just need to respect that.

People vote for who they know. That’s the same reason Noynoy is posied to win. It was his name, the legacy that his parents left that pushed him towards victory. It was unfortunate for other candidates that circumstances happened that propeled Aquino on his way to victory. I believe it was just really his destiny to win. That’s what the other candidates are finding hard to grasp. I understand their point of view. Some have prepared a long time for the elections and here comes a man who didn’t want it in the first place and he ends up as the possible victor. It’s hard to accept. But…. they have to.

To Aquino and his team’s credit they were able to sustain the momentum by not screwing up the campaign too much. Well except with the Mar faux paux who is all but certain to lose the VP race. I asked people about why they chose to vote for Binay and not Mar, the consensous was they didn’t want to see Korina in power. Sad but true. Mar is a good guy in my opinion. He would make a good VP. Alas it was not meant to be.

So to sum this up. Do I think that the allegations of that whistle blower is true? No! Was there cheating? Maybe but in isolated cases at the local level. For the most part was the elections clean? Yes I think so. The results are consistent with the surveys and exit polls.

To those who say that SWS, Pulse Asia, PPCRV, ABS, GMA were all conspiring to rig the elections, shame on you. You’re maligning the intergrity of people who work tirelessly to give you information that you want. You must remember after all is said and done these people go back to normal lives. SWS and Pulse Asia will do survey work for companies and other entities, if they risk their reputation they risk their livelihood and their standing not only here but internationally. What to these people have to gain by rigging the elections?

My Vote Is Cast

Votes Are In

For those who know me, you understand that it’s not that easy for me to make the trek to the voting precinct or any where for that matter. However it is my civic duty as a Filipino citizen to cast my ballot and make my voice heard as to who I want to lead our country.

This election is very important. It’s the first time that our nation will have automated elections. It’s an untested system being administered by a government institution who’s credibility is extremely low. That has a lot of people worried. More than that, we’ve been under GMA for the past 9 years. While her allies say we’ve made progress a lot of us Filipinos feel like we’ve been going backwards.

So I made the trek to my polling precinct. I was lucky that I went around 4 in the afternoon. The lines were non-existent and only the heat made it difficult to vote.

The actual filling up of the ballot took all of 5 mins, while the whole experience was around 20 mins. All in all it was a good experience for me. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the country but a lot of reports of failed counting machines, vote buying and election violence reminds us that while we live in a democracy it’s still severely lacking.

I cast my vote not only for myself. I cast my vote for the millions of Filipinos who have no access to adequate health care and education. Those two are the most important issues for me. I voted for candidates who in my opinion will make progress towards a Philippines wherein you don’t have to go bankrupt because you’re sick or because you sent your children to school.

Experience

Tomorrow will be a big day for our country. We’ll get to choose our leaders for the next 6 years. It’s an even bigger day because of the situation that we’re in. As a country we’ve dug ourselves in such a deep hole that I truly fear if we don’t choose the right leaders this time around, we’ll get to a point wherein we won’t be able to dig ourselves out of the situation we’re in.

During the campaign season, experience is a word I’ve heard a lot. Candidates have listed a whole slew of degrees and whatnots on their resume. This is touted as a measure of his/her experience to lead the country.

But what about experiences that can not be measured by degress or positions? Does that not count as well?

Some people have been so focused on just the academic or work experiences of candidates that they’ve failed to see their life experiences. What they’ve gone through provides a unique insight that’s individual to them. Sometimes this can be more powerful than any academic or professional experience.

I should know. If you look at my resume, while it’s ok it’s modest compared to some of my peers. Yet, I’ve gone through experiences in my life which others have not and this has provided me a unique insight or perspective on life. This in turn has allowed me to be wiser than other people my age and older. The challenges I faced over the years have taught me a lot of things that I can never learn from school or work.

So when we look at the choices we make we shouldn’t just focus on academic or professional measurements of the candidates but also their life experiences. What they’ve gone through, what they’ve done after going through those experiences and how they’ve matured because of it.

Life is a great teacher, however sometimes the lessons you learn just can’t be placed in your resume because there’s no way to quantify them.

Think Before You Tweet

Yesterday, I had my first “heated” discussion over Twitter. Well, ok heated might be overstating it a bit. Let’s just say lively.

Recently, upon the suggestion of a friend I started to follow DJ Mo Twister over at Twitter. My friend said that his tweets were entertaining. Fine ok, I followed.

I must admit some of his tweets were really entertaining. Mostly those about his travels in Europe.

However there were some tweets exchanged between him and some people that I have to say weren’t nice. It must have been the heat yesterday but after seeing Mo’s reply to someone I kinda got irked and decided to join in the conversation. Let me chronicle it below.

It started with this tweet.

did kris aquino really say she wanted to STAB people who talked smack about Noy? thats awesome. cuz thats my solution for everything too.

someone with the twitter name *youlovealfer* replied to Mo which in turn Mo replied to him with this.

RT @youlovealfer: @djmotwister — i understand her coz thats her brother.–ARE YOU EFFING SERIOUS? stabbing humans, filipinos?

Now, like I stated above, it must have been the heat or it was just a sucky day for me coz normally I won’t even bother but I guess it just irked me. So I sent a tweet over to Mo saying.

@djmotwister dude, it may be bad choice of words but that’s what they are. don’t tell me you’ve never said “i’d kill that guy”. c’mon.

What followed was what would turn out to be a lively exchange between Mo and I. Here’s the rest of the tweet exchange.

@chairmanone youre fucking insane thinking thats justified. wow. im scared for monday cuz of people like you.

 

@djmotwister i never said it was justified. all i’m saying is you’re making such a big deal out of nothing. it’s kris aquino for pete’s sake

 

@djmotwister you really taking kris aquino seriously?

 

@chairmanone its the presidency my friend…im not making a big deal, look at my tweet. i was being sarcastic. “its awesome”. 6 yrs bud.

 

@djmotwister so wait, what’s the presidency got to do with what she said? is she the one running?

 

@djmotwister so ok, you’re saying you take the presidential elections seriosuly. let’s have a discussion. who you voting for and why?

 

@chairmanone oh shit. youre stupid. what does it have to do with the presidency? are u high? the biased mind is so disturbing

 

@djmotwister dude, now with comments like that makes you “stupid” more than me. calling other people stupid when you don’t even know them.

 

@djmotwister coz if what kris says is a barometer of who noynoy is, then i pity your siblings if you have any. for all the crap you say.

First of all at the time Mo tweeted about Kris Aquino’s statement he didn’t even know it was true. So given that he’s a celebrity and all with a lot of followers, why post something that might give people the wrong impression about another person. Is it because she’s Kris Aquino? Because she’s the host of a competing show? I dunno. But that’s not the thing that irked me.

What irked me was how he replied to “youlovealfer”. The guy/girl was making a simple comment which in my opinion has some merit. I mean if it were me and you talk smack about my family I’d kick your ass (if I could).

You have to put things into context. A lot of people have been saying bad things about Noynoy and the Aquino family in general. It’s been a long campaign season and so even if what Kris said was true, people will know that it’s a figure of speech. Something not to be taken literally. The only person Kris would probably stab is James Yap in the even she catches here cheating on him. Ok, ok I’m kidding. Even if she does she probably won’t. For all of Kris’ faults I don’t take her as someone who’d actually stab a person.

So that being said, when I replied to Mo, I only meant to imply that he shouldn’t take things literally. Read between the lines and take everything into context. First of all it might not be true, second he’s an educated person he should know it was probably a figure of speech.

What pisses me off though is how Mo would reply to people. I made a simple comment. No need to be crass about it and start cursing people. Especially someone you don’t know. Even going as far as saying “he’s scared on Monday because of people like me”. He doesn’t even know me, so how can he be scared of me? I never even implied that it’s justified to stab someone when he talks smack about your siblings. Again, it’s probably a figure of speech!

Also, why is he taking what Kris Aquino says seriously? It’s Kris Aquino for pete’s sake. We all know that a character she is. I’m not saying Kris is bad but sometimes she also needs to filter what she says. But Kris is Kris and that’s another topic altogether.

Mo, goes on to say “it’s the presidency my friend”. Huh? When did it become about the presidency? Oh.. because Kris is the sister of Noynoy. Hence what Kris says is a reflection of Noynoy’s character. Great logic! If people’s character were based on the things that their siblings say or their siblings for that matter, I hope that Mo is an only child. I’ll feel bad for his siblings. Imagine being judged because of what goes out of Mo’s mouth.

Replying rudely to people and calling them “stupid” doesn’t make you superior to other people. In fact you’re the one that’s stupid for doing that. Especially if you do it over Twitter. I mean when talking/texting/tweeting to people, especially those you don’t know you should be mindful about what you say. I’m pretty sure Mo’s a smart person. He wouldn’t be where he is if he was dumb. So why talk like that to people? Can’t you carry a decent conversation with strangers? There are ways to get your point across without calling them “stupid”, “idiot” or any other derogatory names for that matter. Case in point, I just had a lively debate with a friend over Facebook chat prior to the incident with Mo. We were trying to convince each other to vote for the other’s candidate. It went pretty well. No name calling was necessary. All’s well that ends well. A lively exchange of opinions can be carried out without the need for calling another person names. It’s not rocket science. It’s just plainly being decent.

Now, I wrote about this incident not to malign Mo. Let’s say it’s my way of telling him and people in general to *think before you tweet*. The Twitterverse is a whole different space than what goes on in normal conversation between friends. You can’t express what you want to say clearly in 140 characters. So there’s always a chance that people might not interpret what you want to say correctly. So all the more you need to be careful with what you say and how you say it.

Hey, for all I know Mo and I might even eventually end up as friends. I’m not judging him as a whole based on this. I’m just saying that sometimes he can be an ass when he tweets. It doesn’t make him a bad person. Just someone who needs to think more before tweeting.

*Disclaimer: At this point in time I am inclined to vote for Noy, Mar and the LP slate but that’s not because I’m biased. Nor is it because I follow them blindly because Noy is the son of Ninoy and Cory. It’s because based on what I see and have read, theirs is the platform that addresses a lot of the issues I care about. Mainly, health care and education. Also it’s because of all the parties, they fielded candidates not because they’re winnable but because they’re actually qualified. Are they the only ones qualified? No. But at least they can actually perform the duties of the post they’re running for.*

Thoughts On The Upcoming Presidential Elections

The election is less than 10 days away and the jockeying for votes is reaching a high. Campaign jingles blaring during the day, countless ads being aired on tv and radio. Even my current favorite past time of browsing Facebook and Twitter is being invaded by political messages. So I thought I’d just go ahead and share my thoughts on the upcoming Presidential elections.

First and foremost what I sincerely wish for is a clean and honest election. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. So if Erap wins but it’s clearly shown that it’s the people’s choice and he’s the clear winner then so be it. We get the leaders we deserve but at least it was the true choice of the people. What I really don’t want is a President that cheated his way to the top.

That being said, here are my thoughts on the candidates for President.

*Noynoy Aquino* – He’s currently the person I’m most likely to vote for. Here’s why. There are two issues that are very close to my heart, health care and education. I truly believe that these two need to be addressed in order for the other ills of our society to be fixed. A healthy nation is a strong nation. An educated nation is a prosperous nation.

Aquino’s health care plan promises universal health care for Filipinos within 3 years and of the national budget to be allocated to health care.

The Aquino education platform also calls on focus on science and math which I believe are essentials for us to prosper as a nation. These subjects are the foundation of knowledge jobs such as medicine, engineering. I don’t want the Philippines to be just a nation of call centers and factories but rather a nation that is known for research, development and products that were born here and not just manufactured here. These are subjects that need to be learned and excelled at in order to do these.

A lot has been said about Noynoy’s qualification. That’s what they also said about Barack Obama. Some times it’s not about the length of service or how many laws you’ve been able to craft. I think this time we just need a President who can inspire hope in us. A President who can help us get our act together and push us forward.

Noynoy is just the son of Cory and Ninoy and nothing more. That’s what a lot of people say. Well I can also say that the Apple does not fall far away from the tree. If he inherited a fraction of his parent’s traits that would be better than most people running now.

But what reassures me about my choice is that you can tell a lot about the candidate by the team he put together. Among all of the candidates Noynoy has arguably the best people running with him. From Mar Roxas to his senate slate. I believe that that these are people I can stomach as public servants.

*Gibo Teodoro* – He would have been neck and neck with Noynoy for my vote if not for several things. First, he’s just too associated with GMA. I hate GMA with a passion.

Also, if his choice of VP is any indication of his leadership then I really don’t want him as my President. Of all 80 million Filipinos why would you choose Edu Manzano? Now don’t even get me started with his choice of Senators, Bong and Lito Lapid? Are you kidding me?

For a candidate who’s supporters are espousing that Gibo is the choice of the thinking man he didn’t put a lot of thought in his team.

A lot of people keep lambasting Noynoy about Hacienda Luisita, isn’t Gibo a Cojuangco too?

*Manny Villar* – C5, allegations of bribery and other unethical conduct as Senate President, Loren Legarda are just all the reasons I need not to vote for him.

*Dick Gordon* – He would also have been a strong candidate for my vote. He has both executive and legislative experience and has been successful in transitioning Subic from a US base to what it is during his time.

However, he just comes across as someone that’s temperamental and egotistical. A President needs to be first and foremost humble because he is in fact the number one servant of the people. Sadly humility is not Dick’s strong suit.

*Bro. Eddie Villanueva* – My biggest problem with him is that I am not a believer of having a preacher as a President. I believe that there should be a separation of church and state and I am afraid that if he’s President he might push his religious biases onto the people.

Also by insisting that he is God’s chosen one, every time he loses he is doing God a disservice. He’s making a case for people to think God doesn’t exist. If God indeed chose him, he would have been President years ago.

Please don’t use God as a campaign tool. If God wants you to be President you don’t need to tell people that, God will do that for you.

*Nicky Perlas* – He’s a good man. I believe this wholeheartedly and if I was President I would not mind having him in my cabinet. I wish he started slightly lower first and worked his way up. Maybe Mayor, Governor or something.

*JC Delos Reyes* – Like Nicky I believe he’s a good person. Try a lower position first and work your way up. He’s still young and he has a lot of time to ascend to higher office.

*Jamby Madrigal* – no comment.

Those comments being said there are still less than 10 days away from the elections, until my vote is cast it’s not certain. I can change my mind. If anyone can convince me that their candidate will be able to address the issues that I care about better then please by all means, convince me. If you do, I’d be happy to change my vote.