Comelec critics file rights case in UN

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Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Civil society groups on Friday brought their issue with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to the United Nations, accusing the Philippine government of violating their right to vote and of turning over to a foreign entity the conduct of the technical aspect of the country’s elections.

The group, led by former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr., submitted a petition to the UN Human Rights Committee, a treaty-based mechanism in the UN system for the redress of international human rights abuses.

They want the committee to declare the Philippines in violation of their right to suffrage.

“We request that this committee find and declare that the Republic of the Philippines breached its international obligation to guarantee the right of the [petitioners] to the free expression of their will as electors,” they said.

The petitioners said they had to appeal to the United Nations because they had exhausted all domestic remedies, including the filing of three separate cases in the Supreme Court.

“The Philippines violated the [petitioners’] right to the free expression of their will as electors during the May 10, 2010, automated elections, and continues to violate such right in its conduct of the May 13, 2013, automated elections,” said the petition, which was sent by e-mail and registered mail to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.

“[The government] gave complete control of the technical aspects of these automated elections to a foreign entity, Smartmatic, thereby compromising the secrecy, security, and validity of the votes made or might be made by the [petitioners],” it said.

The UN Human Rights Committee, one of nine UN human rights treaty bodies, considers cases pertaining to the compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of states that have acceded to its protocols. It allows persons within the jurisdiction of these states to submit complaints to it requesting a determination whether provisions of the covenant have been violated.

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  • kulittwit

    Stupid petition. In effect ex vp guingona is questioning the validity of his son’s election in 2010.

    In retrospect, the voters voted freely in the 2010 election and, in fact, all succeeding manual recounts conducted in all election protests in local races after the election showed the accuracy of the electronic count thereby proving the credibility of the 2010 election.

  • superpilipinas

    I disagree with the case.

    I think the case should not be about Smartmatic being foreign but about Smartmatic not being transparent on things that need transparency and that excludes security components, encryption keys, and secret codes.

    They should have revealed the project plans and reports and the system test plans, specifications, and reports, at least 9 months before the elections. If any major problem is found, the election should be postponed for another 3 months. Development should follow tough standards like in automotive or medical equipment industries.
    .

  • wawa2172

    Smartmatic did well in 2010 and it could perform well in 2013. The automated election, a legacy of The Pandak in providing a clean and honest election in the Philippines started in 2010 a new era of honest and clean vote counting that enable Noy to win the presidency without a doubt. Though the comelec chief is an IT illiterate let us give the agency the benefit of the doubt that it is doing its work honestly and it has form a credible IT team to check on the security and source codes of PCOS. SMARTMATIC is credible even though its a foreign entity, it has proven its worth and credibility in 2010 election and I am sure that the company is better than Filipino company who could be bias to the political party sitting in power. So I disagree with old Guingona’s petition at the UN. Parang di siya naniwala na nanalo ang anak at asawa niya nung 2010? Ka Tito, just take note, the best and durable highways in the country were funded and build by foreigners, just in the case of NLEX and SLEX. The main bridge in Iligan that stood up the wrath of Sendong was made by Hanil, a South Korean construction firm a long time ago according to my dad. Magagaling ang mga Filipino designers and builders but specifications are often compromise when it is implemented because of corruption. So kung election software development is concern, we can trust the foreign firms to do the software and machine for us dahil di nila kilala ang mga kandidato sa PInas. Ang questionable lang talaga sa 2013 election is the appointment of Padaca as comelec commissioner. She is foremost an LP stalwart with a corruption case still pending in court.

  • les21reago

    The petitioners abused their literacy instead and in fact computerized their suffrage during the 2010 election…
    And WHY they are not complaining the using of their cellphone and INTERNET, these are not made in the Philippines huh?

  • Ako_Hiking

    This will be the most exciting elections ever with no one knowing who will win and even when there is a declared winner still no one will know the actual count the PCOS machines still don’t work properly. The Comelec has been secretive with their source codes and machines and preparation and that can be good but if it is a known fact that things aren’t working properly then it’s not so good.

  • Albert Einstien

    TAMA sila guingona….

    other than COMELEC…who AMONG the 2010 CANDIDATES had ACCESS or BOUGHT by the BILLIONS the SOURCE CODE for 2010 elections…….sino kaya sa KANILA …..REMEMBER madaming PCOS MACHINE na LOSTor quarantine DAW ng 2010…sino ang NAKAWALA at kung nasuli man sino at SAAN ang mga ITO NAKITA….kung me source code ( PIN CODE )..tapos me pcos machine ( atm card ) ang mga sindikato…..parang UNLIMITED WITHDRAWAL ng pera yan sa ATMs…je je

    ..82,000 ang pcos ng 2010..ilan lang GINAMIT at ilan ang NAWALA ,
    DAMAGE o QUARANTINE daw…..IMBISTIGAHAN NYO NA BILIS……je je

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