Victory

We call on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to heed the demand to rescind Resolution 9922, and that any decision to this effect, be deferred until after the retirement of the three outgoing officials of Comelec.

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AN  URGENT  CALL

We heed an important message of His Holiness, Pope Francis, in his courtesy meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III on January 15: “It is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity, and commitment to the common good.”

The nation once again gears for the next elections in 2016 to choose our next leaders who will oversee government affairs consistent with the principles of transparency and accountability. May the next leaders take the challenge of Pope Francis to place the poor  and marginalized as the focus of the political leaders’ mission against corruption, scandalous social inequality, and widespread materialism.

With these in mind we are greatly concerned with the COMELEC’s “holiday rush” Dec. 23  Resolutions  9922 by a 5-2  vote   awarding the favored reseller company, Smartmatic, a  Php300M  contract  for  the  diagnosis and minor repair services for 80,000 PCOS machines. The haste lacks prudence and the amount is far too high just to diagnose the machines.

We are disturbed that many contracts have been awarded to the Venezuelan company, Smartmatic, since 2010 to automate Philippine national and local elections now amounting to billions of taxpayers’ money – despite undisputed findings by citizens’ election watchdogs, IT experts, and other concerned groups with regard to,  non-compliance  by  both  COMELEC  and  Smartmatic of election and procurement laws that compromised the transparency, security, accuracy, and trustworthiness of the automated election system.

As   leaders  of  the  Catholic Church acting in support of the advocacy for clean elections,  and  for  transparent  and accountable government, we call on the Commission  on  Elections   (COMELEC)  to  heed the demand to rescind Resolution 9922, and that any decision to this effect, be deferred until after the retirement  of  the three outgoing officials of Comelec  led  by  Chairman  Brillantes on February 2 this year and the appointment of their replacements. Lack of time is no excuse for such undue haste. Past elections time tables were even shorter. Besides this “lack of time” is due to the COMELEC itself for not acting promptly as they were warned much earlier.

We  call  on   COMELEC  to  uphold  the  rule  of  law  in  the  interest of  democracy and  God-given   people’s   sovereign   rights  of  suffrage  and  good  government. All the   safeguards  as  found  in  the  Automated  Election  Law should   be   complied  with.

January 21, 2015

CBCP

Signed copy may be downloaded at : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/85303072/AES%20Watch/CBCP%20Urgent%20Call.pdf



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