JULY 14, 2017

COMELEC Advisory Council invites providers and developers to showcase automated election technologies

The COMELEC Advisory Council (CAC) is inviting all Automated Election System providers/ developers to participate in the 2017 Automated Election System (AES) Technology Fair on 26-27 July 2017 in Manila. The Fair will feature the latest technology available in the market, including locally developed AES technologies. The fair is open to both international and local groups. 

Participation is free of charge and participating AES providers/ developers shall be given time within the AES Technology Fair to present, demonstrate and discuss their technology.

For interested AES providers/developers, their technology should have the following:

1. Adequate security against unauthorized access;
2. Accuracy in recording and reading of votes as well as in the tabulation, consolidation/canvassing, electronic transmission, and storage of results;
3. Error recovery in case of non-catastrophic failure of device;
4. System integrity which ensures physical stability and functioning of the vote recording and counting process
5. Provision for voter verified paper audit trail;
6. System auditability which provides supporting documentation for verifying the correctness of reported election results;
7. An election management system for preparing ballots and programs for use in the casting and counting of votes and to consolidate, report and display election results in the shortest time possible;
8. Accessibility to illiterates and disabled voters;
9. Vote tabulating program for election, referendum or plebiscite;
10. Accurate ballot counters;
11. Data retention provision;
12. Provide for the safekeeping, storing and archiving of physical or paper resource used in the election process;
13. Utilize or generate official ballots as herein defined;
14. Provide the voter a system of verification to find out whether or not the machine has registered his choice;
15. Configure access control for sensitive system data and functions; and
16. Address any other concerns and issues that were observed during past  Automated Elections since 2010.
Republic Act No. 9369 (the Philippine Election Automation Law of 2007) mandates the CAC to recommend the most appropriate, secure, applicable and cost-effective technology to be applied in the AES, in whole or in part, at that specific point in time. Thus, the event will be a venue for the CAC to explore prevailing technologies. NAMFREL is a member of the recently reconstituted CAC.

For participation queries and other concerns, you may contact the CAC Secretariat, through Ms. Jocelyn V. Tendenilla, Ms. Rochelle E. Penullar, or Ms. Katrina O. Ner at the following contact details:

Email:  [email protected]
Office Phone:  (+632) 920-0101 local 1611 or 3004

The venue of the fair will be announced at a later date.

The synchronized barangay and SK elections have not yet been postponed
NAMFREL released on social media this week the latest installment on its information campaign on the upcoming village and youth council elections. The release seeks to help address misconceptions and misinfomation that the elections have already been postponed. Such wrong information could prevent voters and especially prospective candidates from preparing for the polls, which by law, will be taking place in three months, on October 23, 2017. 

The synchronized elections could only be postponed when: 1) the lower House is able to pass, after deliberations, an amendment to laws governing the holding of barangay and sangguniang kabataan (SK) elections; 2) the Senate is able to pass, after deliberations, a counterpart bill; 3) both the House and Senate sit as a bicameral body to craft a single proposed bill harmonizing both versions, which would then be sent to the President for his signature. As of this writing, all of these steps have not taken place yet. Also, at present, there is no law that allows for the appointment of barangay officials in lieu of an election.   

See the release here: http://www.namfrel.com.ph/v2/2017/2017-bgy-sk-postponedba.php
PCIJ findings: What’s flawed, fuzzy with drug war numbers?
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) recently came out with a series of articles on numbers and statistics related to the Philippine government's war on drugs. Government-sanctioned statistics on drug users in the country are being used to argue against the holding of the barangay elections in October. The government, instead, is pushing for the appointment of barangay officials, which currently has no legal basis.
According to PCIJ: "The government’s drug war narrative so far has not only been bloody, it has also been blurry. Although government officials have not denied that lives have been lost in the anti-drug campaign, they have yet to explain its narrative that is crowded with constantly changing concepts and terms, even as it is decked in numbers inflated then deflated and later inflated again."
Read the reports in full:
PCIJ findings: What’s flawed, fuzzy with drug war numbers?
#RealNumbersPH unreal, inexact, locked in riddles 
PCIJ asks PNP, PDEA, DDB: Why inflate, deflate, reboot numbers?
Donations needed for Marawi
(Photo: Asnawi Dalidig, Marawi City)
With the Marawi siege on its second month, some NAMFREL chapters in Mindanao have joined efforts to address the humanitarian crisis concerning displaced residents. NAMFREL chapters in Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Cotabato City (through Notre Dame University), and Misamis Oriental (through Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro) have been assisting internally displaced persons in and from Marawi through provision of basic needs like food, temporary shelter, clothing, hygiene and sanitation, medical assistance, and psychosocial support.

NAMFREL appeals for the public's support to these humanitarian efforts initiated by our volunteers. To get in touch with our chapters and to send any donations in any form, please get in touch with the following:
In Lanao del Sur:

Dr. Asnawi R. Dalidig
Mobile: (+63) 917-6233272 /
             (+63) 908-2160821
Email: [email protected]

In Lanao del Norte:

Mr. Godofredo S. Lumbo, Jr.
Mobile: (+63) 917-7166289
Email: [email protected]
In Cotabato City:

Mr. Joseph P. Fernandez,
Notre Dame University
Mobile: (+63) 917-5824219 /  939-9388298
Landline: (+63) (64) 4212698 local 353
Email: [email protected]

In Misamis Oriental (Cagayan de Oro City):

Mr. Nestor M. Banuag, Jr.,
Xavier University
Mobile: (+63) 917-4950007 / 923-5697505
Email: [email protected]
PCSO conducts first live pre-bid conference
(PCSO release, July 11, 2017)

For the first time, the public was able to witness a Pre-Bid Conference of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) live via the PTV4 Official Facebook Page. This was an initiative of the PCSO management to preserve the transparency and integrity of its bidding process, which is aligned with the Duterte’s administration vision of a corrupt-free government.

Thirteen (13) prospective bidders participated in the said conference which served as a venue to clarify their questions about the eligibility requirements, technical specifications and other bidding concerns on the PCSO NOLS and its operations. Representatives from the Office of the Ombudsman, Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa sa GOCCs at GFIs (KAMAGGFI) and National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) also attended the conference as observers.

SC gives Robredo more time to pay deposit
(Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 13, 2017)

The Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), has given Vice President Leni Robredo more time to settle the P7 million in unpaid cash deposit for her counterprotest against former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whom she defeated in the 2016 vice presidential election.

Robredo’s lead counsel Romulo Macalintal told reporters on Wednesday that the 15-member tribunal verbally agreed to grant the Vice President’s request during its preliminary conference on Tuesday.

The conference set in motion Marcos’ attempt to invalidate Robredo’s win in the May 2016 automated elections.


Philconsa calls on SC to expedite election protests
(Manila Times, July 1, 2017)

THE Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) has called on the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to expedite election protest cases, amid supposed delays in the poll fraud case filed by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

At the same, election watchdog Tanggulang Demokrasya (TanDem) said it would file charges against Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials for their alleged failure to ensure clean and honest elections in 2016.

Ballot printing for barangay, SK polls to be suspended
(Philippine Star, July 14, 2017)

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will wait until August 15 for Congress to decide if the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections set on October 23 will push  through. 

“We are studying until when we can delay the printing of ballots. However, Comelec should decide before Aug. 15,” Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said in an interview over dzBB yesterday. 

Bautista said the printing of ballots is supposed to start on July 20.

Comelec continues preps for barangay, SK polls
(The Daily Guardian, July 12, 2017)

THE Commission on Elections (COMELEC-6) continues with its preparations for the barangay and Sanguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 23, 2017 amid talks of postponement.
COMELEC-6 Regional Director Dennis Ausan said they will stick with the election schedule based on the existing law.
“The commission is a law enforcing agency. And if you ask me now, there is a law scheduling the barangay and SK elections come October 23. So our preparation is towards that,” Ausan said in a radio interview.
Caraga Comelec prepares for Barangay, SK elections
(Manila Bulletin, July 3, 2017)

Butuan City – Despite the uncertainty that Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will be held in October, the regional office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Caraga Region 13 is nevertheless preparing for the electoral process.
“We are still preparing, we will only stop the preparation if higher authorities will order us that the barangay and SK election will be postponed,” Comelec 13 Regional Director Francisco Pobe on Monday said.


NYC inks MOA with COMELEC for SK elections
(PIA, June 30, 2017)

QUEZON CITY, June 30 (PIA) -- The National Youth Commission and the Commission on Elections seal a Memorandum of Agreement today to enhance the ongoing preparatory activities for the forthcoming Sangguniang Kabataan elections that is synchronized with the barangay elections on October 23, 2017.
Undersecretary Aiza Seguerra, NYC Chairperson and Atty. Andy Bautista, COMELEC Chairman jointly signed the agreement that contains among others the responsibilities of the two agencies that include: identification of voter education activities and their corresponding schedules, development of the content of the IEC materials, and ensuring the participation of program partners that include non-government organizations, media and civic society groups.
15 Lanao del Sur towns yet to accomplish computerized voters lists — Comelec
(PNA, July 12, 2017)

MANILA, July 12 -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that 15 towns in Lanao del Sur have yet to accomplish their Computerized Voters Lists (CVL) due to the ongoing conflict in Marawi City.
According to Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista, these areas have no Project of Precincts (POPs) since their operations are affected by the current crisis.
"I think only 15 have not yet been able to comply. I think the POPs are actually not finished for the 15," he said during the press briefing for the turnover of the financial donation to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday.
Cambodian People’s Party ties to controversial election monitor deepen
(Phnom Penh Post, July 13, 2017)
Against a backdrop of government criticism of local election watchdogs, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong has been elected vice president of the standing committee of the election monitor ICAPP, which has frequently been criticised for indiscriminately offering its stamp of approval to otherwise controversial elections.
The announcement comes less than a week after the Interior Ministry threatened legal action against election local observers Comfrel and Nicfec – both members of the election monitoring coalition the “Situation Room” – for allegedly violating their political neutrality as mandated under the controversial Law on Associations and NGOs.
Cambodia: Revoke Ban on Election Monitors
(Human Rights Watch, July 9, 2017)

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should rescind its recent order restricting independent election monitoring groups, Human Rights Watch said today. On July 4, 2017, a month after the country’s flawed commune elections, the Interior Ministry issued a letter to two election-monitoring organizations to cease their activities in alleged violation of the country’s nongovernmental organization law.
The government’s action sets the stage for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to broaden restrictions on election monitoring prior to the 2018 national elections.
Father of modern Malaysia backs jailed former deputy in attempt to oust PM
(The Guardian, July 6, 2017) 

Mahathir Mohamad, the father of modern Malaysia, is backing the man he sacked as his deputy and saw imprisoned on charges of sodomy to be prime minister, in an attempt to unseat the scandal-ridden incumbent.
In a remarkable political U-turn ahead of a general election next year, Mahathir now says that his former protege Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s most famous political prisoner and its most charismatic public figure, ought to be released from jail and allowed to contest parliamentary elections.
Thai lawmakers quit assembly to prepare to run in election
(Reuters, July 5, 2017)

BANGKOK (Reuters) - More than a dozen members of an assembly appointed by Thailand's junta have resigned to be able to contest elections, one of the first signs of political activity ahead of a poll set tentatively for next year.
The military government had initially promised a vote within 18 months of a May 2014 coup, but the timetable has slipped - intensifying suspicion among government critics about the army's real willingness to relinquish power.

Nepal: Election commission team off to India to study
electronic voting machines

(myRepublic, July 13, 2017)
KATHMANDU, July 12: A high-level team of Election Commission (EC) has left for India to study feasibility of Indian Electronic Voting Machines in upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections.
As part of digitizing the upcoming provincial and central parliamentary elections, the election body wants to purchase electronic voting machines from India if they are compatible in the Nepalese context.  “Our study team has left for India and we will decide whether to purchase the Indian machines or not soon after they return back,” said Spokesperson Sharma. 

US: Privacy Group Sues White House to Stop Voter Data Collection
(Meritalk, July 10, 2017)

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) challenged the White House July 7 in Federal court on President Donald Trump’s voting commission’s request for voter data from 50 states and the District of Columbia.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District of Columbia said she would rule as quickly as possible on the request for a temporary restraining order to halt the data collection.
NAMFREL NEWS is a bi-monthly electronic newsletter published by the
National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), Philippines.
National Citizens' Movement For Free Elections (NAMFREL)
Unit 601, DMG Center, Domingo M. Guevarra St.,
Brgy. Mauway, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel. : (632) 788-3484 / (632) 736-0969
Telefax: (632) 470-4151
Mobile:  (63) 939-1102872 / (63) 915-8293882

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