Press Release
January 29, 2006


Senator Richard Gordon reiterated today his call for the urgent modernization of the countrys electoral system before starting discussions on Charter Change as he emphasized that the present political crisis facing the country today is rooted in our electoral system.

A number of electoral exercises that we've had have been punctuated with allegations of cheating. People always doubt the results perhaps because of colonial, presidential, and other human intervention involved in the whole electoral process Some of these charges even went up to court and we have seen how some went as far as demanding for the recount of votes which took years to finish. It is high time that we seriously and genuinely address and resolve this concern lest people will continue to question and challenge the integrity and credibility of our electoral system, he said.

Gordon, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws which has jurisdiction on election laws, said that the second Senate hearing aimed at discussing the Philippine electoral system is scheduled tomorrow, 30 January. He expressed hope that the heads of the various government agencies who will attend the discussion will unanimously agree in the urgent need for election modernization in time for the 2007 local and national polls.

There are numerous attempts to push for Charter Change which they perceive as the solution for the various political issues that we are confronting but the truth is that this does not and will not fix the problem, pronounced Gordon adding that, the electoral system is the basic foundation of a functional democracy. Reforming COMELEC and the electoral system is a condition sine qua non to charter change.

Since after his visit to India late last year to speak at the World Economic Forum in New Delhi, Gordon has repeatedly pronounced that the Philippines should seriously look into the electoral system of the said South Asian country which he praised for having fast and efficient counting of electoral ballots.

Gordon said Indias elections, participated in by more than 600 million voters, are known and finalized within just about two days. He also cited the voting system in the United States which utilizes a machine that employs a touch-screen, for those who cannot write, and which automatically shuts down at the end of the day.

There is no reason why we cannot adopt these technologies. With minimal human intervention in counting and canvassing, and speedy transmission of election results, we can eliminate the doubt that always hangs over every election exercise in this country, Gordon said adding, our goal is simple: fast, clean, and honest elections. For that we need a modernized electoral system that guarantees and secures the choice of the people.

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