July 17, 2009
Leaders of the Register & Vote (RV) campaign urge COMELEC to launch a massive information campaign so voters may know who the regional COMELEC officials are in their respective regions and municipalities.
Led by independent Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, and Mindanao-based environmentalist Neric Acosta, the group urged COMELEC to operate in the spirit of full transparency and accountability. Rep Hontiveros noted the campaign will prevent these officials from hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.
In a dialogue with COMELEC Spokesman James Jimenez in Cebu City, the “RV Drivers” added this will prevent the rise of Garcis and Bedols in this coming elections. Senator Pangilinan emphasizes, “Walang nakakakilala kay Lintang Bedol bago pumutok ang dagdag-bawas.”
Acosta, for his part said, “This is the essence of bringing back power to the people.”
“Dapat bawiin ng taumbayan ang kapangyarihan ng balota.”
Spokesman Jimenez, in response, pledged to put up the information on the COMELEC’s website.
Senator Pangilinan calls on civic groups and the media to show on air, post and print the faces of these COMELEC officials.
In a related development, Jimenez admitted in the dialogue that COMELEC had been less-than-agile in coping with the demands of computerized elections. “We could have been more prepared than we had been . To be candid we are still stuck in the 200-250 capacity for registration using the biometric data capturing machines. “
Reacting to fears raised by the RV group that the painfully slow registration process could lead to mssive disenfranchisement, Jimenez countered: “Technically it’s not disenfranchisement when they choose not to register.”