George Santayana famously said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. So the battle shifts to 2013.
From Dr. Pablo Manalastas’ analysis of the many errors in the automation implementation:
Comelec’s measure of accuracy of the AES-2010, has been faulty, ab initio, from the start. Furthermore, the various steps that Smartmatic-Comelec took in order to implement AES-2010 was fault-ridden in all steps of the way. The only redeeming quality of this computerized electoral exercise is that the final Comelec count, no matter how inaccurate, seems to be according to people’s expectations, and people are willing to accept the count, and forget the inaccuracies. But the Philippine IT community must uphold certain standards of accuracy for an election system, and must insist that Smartmatic-Comelec fix the bugs in the PCOS-CCS systems. This is for their own good, and in preparation for election 2013, when Comelec might again force Smartmatic upon us.
The nagging question: How does a Constitutional Body known as Comelec “force” Smartmatic upon us?
UPDATE (June 27, 2010): It seems the answer is to have Teddy Boy Locsin “exonerate” or even praise Comelec and then give Smartmatic a teeny tiny slap on the wrist for the “glitches” of the PCOS machines. In short, put out the PR that all is well, and anyone who believes otherwise is just another “sore loser.” Now I wonder what kind of “loss” it was that was their “gain”? Was it good old fashioned trust and respect?
The price of liberty is vigilance. Vigilance is patience and persistence. Like rain in the famous W. Somerset Maugham short story.
UPDATE (June 30, 2010): The newspapers seem to have caught on to a nuanced “spin” whereby Locsin plays bad cop on Smartmatic, but others get to carry the torch to praise the recent automation. Same effect it seems, which is to condition the public to doing another PCOS in 2013. In fact, Comelec announced they intend to buy some of the machines for special elections, after which the machines can be “studied.” Of course, for legitimate purposes, such as showing how good they are for 2013.
Another nagging question: Were the prices charged by Smartmatic for lease and associated services, and for purchase, reasonable? Here is where an independent “truth commission” idea is perhaps IN-ter-EST-ing, to borrow that famous word of Richard Feynman. If those machines were overpriced, what do we do next?