Press Release
March 10, 2009

Poll automation to frustrate 'cheating scholars' - Gordon

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today stressed that automating the May 2010 presidential elections would thwart any plans of "cheating scholars" to manipulate the results and steal the elections.

Gordon, author of Republic Act (RA) 9369 or the amended Automated Elections System Law, said going back to manual elections would only benefit these "cheating scholars" or the devious individuals who have become so adept at rigging election results.

"Massive cheating has marred every past elections in this country that these individuals have had time to perfect their craft and gained Ph.Ds. in election cheating," he said.

"Going back to manual elections would only give these 'cheating scholars' yet another opportunity to practice their nefarious deeds," he added.

For more than four years, Gordon had been pushing for the election automation that would modernize the country's already-antiquated electoral system and eradicate wholesale cheating that has marred past elections.

RA 9369 called for the pilot testing of automated elections systems prior to its implementation in a national election - the next being the 2010 elections.

Its pilot testing during the 2007 national elections had been stonewalled by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), citing the lack of sufficient time for preparations.

Undeterred and unwilling to take no for an answer, Gordon steadily pushed for the pilot testing of the automated elections system during the August 2008 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and succeeded. Results of the ARMM elections were released in a matter of hours.

Gordon pointed out that 'cheating scholars' would not get the chance to easily carry out their sinister plans of manipulating the elections since it would be a different ballgame with a new set of rules.

"An automated elections would be a new terrain for these 'cheating scholars.' It is still uncharted, hence they will not be able to employ their usual modus operandi," he said.

"It would be a legacy to the country's future generations since it would be the first national elections that would be fast and fraud-free," he added.

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