Press Release
February 28, 2013

Cayetano to TEC: Conduct your own independent review of AES

"Good governance is good economics. It all starts with having a good and clean election. Only then will the poor reap the benefits of the country's economic growth," Senator Alan Cayetano said today at the joint congressional oversight committee on the automated election system (JCOC-AES) hearing.

The senator insisted that the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) should have conducted its own report when it was revealed that the latter based its approval of the AES on Comelec's report alone.

"A person cannot be the judge of his self himself," Cayetano said as he questioned the TEC's certification of the AES. "The TEC should have conducted its won own independent evaluation. In my reading of the law, the TEC should certify based on its own report and not rely on Comelec's previous report," he added.

The TEC's certification of the AES meant that it considered the conduct of the mock polls a success, the source code functional, and the compact flash (CF) cards and other election paraphernalia all in correct working order. The only caveat it observed was that the source code was kept in escrow.

This prompted Comelec to nix the conduct of second mock polls despite the numerous glitches observed during conduct of the first mock polls.

Cayetano stressed that these issues need to be addressed now because of the high stakes brought about by the upcoming 2013 national elections."In the Philippines, all those who lose claim that they were cheated. So if we wait to bring up these issues after the elections then it would seem like we are favoring certain parties or candidates," he said.

Cayetano explained that the JCOC-AES would like to receive a full report on the evaluation done by the TEC and Comelec to enable the committee to come up with more subjective evaluation of the AES. "We need a more detailed report. The TEC should conduct its own independent report for the simple reason that no one will evaluate himself and say that he failed," he said.

Cayetano concluded that the JCOC and the Comelec should work as partners in ensuring that the 2013 national elections are both glitch-free and fraud-free.

Despite the ongoing senatorial campaign, Cayetano prioritized heading the JCOC-AES hearing as the committee's vice chairman to ensure the credibility of the 2013 national elections. "We are looking into this now instead of campaigning to make sure that the votes of the public count come election day," he said.

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