Press Release
July 4, 2009

Pushing for a transparent, credible and honest local and national elections

Now that Filipino company Total Information Management and foreign partner Smartmatic International has been set back on track for the 2010 automated election, Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said that all necessary preparations should be conducted for a transparent and honest local and national election.

"Transparency is what this country needs and an automated election is the way to ensure our citizens that their votes will be protected and will be counted in appointing the next leaders of the country," said Angara who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

The manual voting, casting and counting has always been palatable for those with vested interest to control and manipulate the elections. With the advent of messy and fraud full elections it makes modernization even more imperative.

In this respect, this will be the first automated election in the Philippines in response for the cry of the Filipino voters for a fair election. RA 8436 as amended by RA 9369 authorizes COMELEC to use an automated election system in the conduct of national and local election.

Angara who filed a bill which seeks to authorize an eleven billion pesos (P11-B) supplemental appropriation for the use of an Automated Election System emphasized the need to finally automate our elections.

"The heart of a true democracy lies in achieving clean and honest elections which provide mandate and authority to elected public officials. Our laws mandate the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to use an automated election system in the conduct of national and local elections to encourage transparency, credibility, fairness and accuracy of elections," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.

Of the total amount of P11,301,790,000 (Eleven billion three hundred one million seven hundred ninety thousand pesos) P9,959,710,000 will go to the acquisition of machines for the 2010 automated national and local elections. Moreover, P1,342,080,000 will be allocated for the preparatory activities in relation to the conduct of 2010 automated elections.

He added, "It will be a great relief for our Filipino voters that this automated election will push through. It will not only guarantee a fair and credible transition of power but will serve as a step towards a government with leaders that are truly chosen by the people."

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