OPINION: Hacked conspiracy theory on automated elections

BLOGISTA

By Cha Monforte

jan 13

Still, until this writing Emily Alvarez, better half of former DOTC Secretary and former Congressman Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, is largely absent in the district where she is running for congresswoman- District 1 of Davao del Norte. We’ve not even seen her own Christmas greetings in tarpaulins hanged along streets. We’ve heard that the ex-Secretary, partially known of the Piatco scandal, met with political leaders in Davao City over the weekend purposely to map out plans for Manny Villar’s candidacy as Alvarez is reportedly one of Villar’s Mindanao coordinators. Maybe Emily’s running is yet to take off soonest as my source said “sa half of February na” that we’ll expect visibility of Emily who is running against the governor’s son Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR).  This stance is asking for the moon. We know that AGR has long been promoting himself in provincial mass gatherings and over the media including running an infomecial over the most influential TV station in the region, the ABS-CBN Davao. Winning in the polls requires long exposure in public, and the Alvarezes should not expect miracle to happen within the limited 50 or so days before the election day.

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There’s this little secret talk from a friend working in one of the Malacanang offices and now there’s this conspiracy theory on the computerization of the coming May elections. The theory, I guess, is that software program for the automated election has already been programmed by Malacanang computer hacks. The imbedded program, running through the computer hardware and CPUs, would do tallies of results with number of votes intended to win favored candidates automatically mixing and canceling out votes in dagdag-bawas manner with the true votes before results are relayed to the central hub for the municipal, provincial or national level of counts, or dagdag-bawas occurs right at the tallying central hubs. Now shaded votes can no longer be watched, counted and monitored at the voter’s level as there’s no more manual tallying. Shaded votes for varying candidates are automatically read and distributed to separate tallies, while there’s no more human counting and watchers are eliminated in the automated polls. The results would be tilted to the favored candidate with veneer of credibility as dagdag-bawas are programmed not to give suspicious margins or overpadded votes. I hope that Macalanang computer nerd was just joking. Time now for the civil society and progressive-minded IT savvies to move on the make sleuthing about this. We hope this is false, given that most of the electorate are computer-illiterate and most of the youth especially those in the provinces where they abound are IT newbies. If such hacked program is true and uncovered before the polls or at a time when votes are still being counted and tallied in matter of days, another election scandal will blow over us and that’s a recipe of national chaos and the scenario of failure of election. Surely, PGMA will smile if that happens.

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There’s no truth to the nasty rumor that the current BIR re-shuffling of revenue district officers (RDOs) nationwide was inspired by Malacanang for fund-raising purpose in view of the coming May elections. “Some RDOs are promoted, some maybe have not performed in relation to their revenue collection targets,” that resulted to the domino-like reshuffling of RDOs, said Manuel Trias Jr, the new RDO of BIR 112 serving Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces. He replaced RDO Ester Palala who was re-assigned to RDO 98 in Cagayan de Oro City. Trias came from RDO 114 in Mati, Davao Oriental, which he said was his first assignment as an RDO after his stint at RDO in  Makati City . He said that his Mati assignment was a promotion but a “demotion in place of assignment”. He served Mati for nine months until the recent re-shuffling. Trias, in mid 40s, said that always there’s a challenge in each new assignment. We knew though that a previous RDO (not Palala) once left BIR Tagum with a heavy heart, with parting words: “wa man gud koy lakas sa mga politiko”. Until now we are still guessing who were those politikos? The national or local ones?

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BLOGS AND BITS: A Compostela Valley mayor earlier declared he would be making a “vote for one” for his brother running for a boardmember’s post. But recent survey results bared that his brother was not within the Top 5 choices for boardmembers. Just a logical move…. Davao del Norte ex-boardmember Shirley Aala, while a candidate for boardmember now, will actively campaign for her son Bong Aala who is running for councilor in Tagum City . Maybe she knows too well of the councilor’s mandate deserted by her son when he went to Japan and forgot to return until last year. The Tagum people know of the son’s mandate desertion too well (e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

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