It’s a shame we had to experience all the perennial troubles with Smartmatic’s automated election system that we inherited from the previous administration.
The Commission on Elections had opted to purchase instead of renting more than 97,000 VCMs at a cost of P2.1 billion right before Comelec OIC chairman Robert Christian Lim retired.
Lim took over following the resignation of former Comelec head Andres Bautista whose stewardship was marked by brazen poll irregularities.
So, this Aquino legacy lingers. It would have made Mar Roxas president if not for the insurmountable lead of then-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 presidential race.
But anyway, it helped install Leni Robredo to the vice president post in what I called “Smartmagic.”
Now that is not to say that similar events took place during last May 13 elections where administration candidates dominated the senatorial race.
That is not to say, too, that the Yellows were dealt with “a dose of their own medicine,” rendering the Otso Diretso zero Senate seat in the incoming 18th Congress.
There are no evidence of fraud or cheating. Even the Opposition candidates like election lawyer Romy Macalintal acknowledge that.
But the procurement of Smartmatic AES simply did not prove worthy of the P2.1 billion it cost the taxpayers in the wake of the agony it subjected thousands of voters to.
As soon as the polling centers opened on Monday, live media coverage reported widespread incidents of malfunctioning vote counting machines. Many VCM units would not feed on the voters’ accomplished ballots, causing chaotic overcrowding as voters queued up for hours under the sun for their turn to vote.
Many VCMs SD cards turned out defective, either, and their supplier must not be compensated, and must be sanctioned instead.
Also for whatever reason, Comelec clustered together most populous precincts in one polling place in the upper floors of the schools, aggravating senior citizens and pregnant women. How could you blame those who decided just to forgo casting their votes?
And yet, all this trouble rooted in legacy of the past Yellow administration is the same issue that critics and detractors of the Duterte administration are using to try to nullify Monday’s exercise altogether. These stupid desperados want a failure of election declared.
True the Comelec must come clean and explain the issue of the “seven-hour glitch” that blocked media from receiving unofficial tallies and the use of a “meet-me-room” queue-server that received transmissions of the vote-counting machines before being sent to the Comelec transparency server.
Thanks to Aquino’s Smartmatic, what otherwise would have been an unquestionably orderly, clean and honest election is now being stirred into a controversy by his own attack dogs.