Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Automated 2010 polls for stable RP – FM

By Ryan Ponce Pacpaco – Tonight

Leyte Congressman Ferdinand Martin Romualdez yesterday supported the plan of Commission of Elections chairman Jose Melo to make the 2010 polls fully automated following its successful application in the last Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao elections last August 11.

Romualdez underscored the need for the people to experience a nationwide automated poll in 2010 to boost the country’s political stability.

“All electoral reforms, including the nationwide automated elections are very essential component to gain political stability in the country. We have to rally behind and join Comelec in this very important maturity and advancement of our electoral system.” Romualdez, a stalwart of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi), said.

On the other hand, Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao and An Waray Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel opposed to the idea being entertained by Comelec and electoral reform advocates for possible de-synchronizing the national and local election in a bid to attain a manageable nationwide automated elections in 2010.

Aggabao, a lawyer like Romualdez, stressed that automated counting machines are designed to make things easy and cut the political exercise short with accuracy.

“There is no compelling need to de-synchronize since counting will be computerized, there should be no problem managing the elections. Precisely, the computer is designed to simplify the election process.

“Moreover, synchronized elections suggest altering the terms of elected officials which cannot be done without recasting the organic law.” Aggabao said.

For his part, Noel said he was worried about the bid to desynchronize the elections, saying it would be more expensive and burdensome to the voters and most particularly to the teachers who are rained by heavy threats during the performance of their electoral mandate.

“While I support the full automation, desynchronizing the election might create serious problems. Aside from being expensive, we might double the threats that our teachers face during elections and it is also uncomfortable for the voters to vote twice,” Noel said.

Reports said that one of the different ways to desynchronize the elections is the proposal of Sen. Richard Gordon, chairs the Senate committee on electoral reforms, where the Comelec will hold the polls in two separate days.

The reports also said that election officials proposed separate ballots for national and local positions in the synchronized elections.

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