MANILA – As reports abound regarding the lack of transparency in the conduct of the 2013 elections which was marred by many breakdowns and shortcuts, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called for a “FIT Audit” – a full, immediate and transparent audit of the poll results.
KMU said the design of the country’s automated elections is not transparent to begin with, precluding opportunities for interfaces between the actual votes cast and the computerized count so that the latter can be checked by the former.
It cited the assessment of poll watchdog Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch) that the country’s automated elections went from bad to worse, saying the numerous irregularities monitored at every level confirm fears of systemic fraud.
It also cited independent studies currently being circulated in social networking sites showing the results of the elections that were released across the week following a mathematical formula, which is highly unlikely given the uneven nature of the country’s political landscape.
“There is something fundamentally wrong about this year’s elections. Everything is questionable – the design, the government’s actions upholding the design and precluding transparency, and the results,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Votes are sacred. All votes should be counted, and properly. Only a full, immediate and transparent audit of the elections can uphold the sanctity of the people’s votes against the blasphemy done by the government through the Commission on Elections,” he added.
“We are calling all sectors of society to support our call. Even candidates who have been declared winners should call for a FIT Audit. It is a disservice to them that the election which installed them into office is not credible,” he said.
KMU said the conduct of the 2013 elections exposes the bankruptcy of the Aquino government’s “matuwid na daan” mantra.
“The audit should be full because we cannot trust the audit of votes in areas that are randomly selected. It should be immediate so as to preclude tampering with the ballots. It should be transparent to correct the un-transparent counting conducted by the Comelec,” Labog said.
“The results of the FIT Audit will have important repercussions for the 2016 elections. We need to have a scientific evaluation of the Automated Election System,” he added.
“Let us recall that the AES was implemented under the president involved in the ‘Hello Garci’ controversy. Instead of evaluating and improving the AES, the Aquino government merely repeated the conduct of the 2010 elections,” Labog said.