No Hope in the Bourgeois Elections

Fortunato Magtanggol
RCTU-Southern Tagalog
May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013 Southern Tagalog - Early morning today, polling precincts all over the country have been swelling with hundreds and thousands of voters trying to take their chance on having their voices heard through the national elections. As early as now, the Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions-Southern Tagalog, an allied organization of the National Democratic Front, strongly denounces the failure of the national bourgeois elections in bestowing upon millions of Filipinos the right to vote and choose their leaders for the next three years. It is clear and undeniable: the elections are in no way the real solution to our crises-stricken country, but a mechanism controlled and used by the ruling class to maintain the status quo.

Defective PCOS Machines

As early as11 o’clock in the morning, countless irregularities have been documented by various watchdogs, voters, and concerned citizen groups in polling precincts inthe region. Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog, a coalition of progressive organizations, reported late commencement of the voting process in Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, Palawan, and Rizal, due to faulty PCOS machines such as in Barangay Sinalhan, Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Tanauan, Batangas, among many others.

In Lipa, Batangas, the PPCRV reported 95% of PCOS machines were non-functional.

Various precincts in Antipolo, Rizal had faulty PCOS machines as well, impelling voters to leave and forego their rights to vote.

Voters in Bacoor and Dasmarinas Cavite have been delayed in casting their votes due to wet PCOS batteries causing the machine non-operational.

In Puerto Princesa, Palawan, a PCOS machine reportedly stopped functioning, and accepted a ballot marked ‘X’ instead of proper shades.

In Lipa and Tanauan Batangas, a three-hour brownout was reported, delaying the voting process. A similar power outage was documented in Binan, Laguna at around 1:30 in the afternoon.

President of Smartmatic Asia Cesar Flores expected 200-300 PCOSmachines to fail or crash before or during election day. Also, Inquirer stated “He [Flores] said most of the failures would likely have happened on the testing and sealing of the PCOS machines”.

“What happened to the COMELEC’s declaration regarding their 99.99% readiness in making the elections successful? What we are seeing now is full ineptitude, a clear lack of ability on overseeing their responsibilities. We have expected such failure to happen since the Final Testing and Sealing, the mock elections, and the past three years where PCOS machines have been proven to fail, despite millions of people’s taxes being spent on the election automation.”

“Add to that the failure of the COMELEC to provide safeguards,such as making public the source code used in the PCOS machines, to ensure that the votes cast by the people are the ones counted. There is obviously no democracy, no transparency, and no right to suffrage under Aquino’s neo-liberal rule.” Fortunato Magtanggol, RCTU-NDF-ST spokesperson said.

Disenfranchisement of the Right to Vote

In many cases, qualified and registered voters have expressed disappointment over the COMELEC’s incompetency as their names were nowhere to be found in the precinct voters’ list. In Calamba, Laguna, more than 500 registered voters, who are members of the progressive party list Anakpawis, are experiencing the same irregularities and have stated their dismay as they were unable to cast their votes.

In Mamatid, Cabuyao, precinct number 77 had a functional PCOS machine, yet did not have ballots.

Registered pollwatchers, hoping to ensure clean and honest elections and protect their candidates’ votes, were not properly assigned to their posts by the COMELEC.

In numerous clustered precincts, voters were instructed to finish shading their ballots and leave them in envelopes or unofficial containers, unread by defective PCOS machines.

“These irregularities contribute to the extensive disenfranchisement of the people’s right to vote, making this day insignificant for the people’s thirst for change. The masses are hoping to participate freely in the elections, but the administration’s incompetency, altogether with its cling for power and control of all its divisions, are making it impossible for the people to believe in this so-called democratic process.” Magtanggol added.

Vote-buying, military sightings, election-related violence

A number of vote buying incidents were recorded in Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal, reflecting the fraudulent characteristics of such bourgeois ‘democratic’ process.  In other parts of the country, politicians and Aquino-led party lists and senatorial bets have been running like crazy dogs in spending the people’s money, ranging from P200-P3000 for every vote.

Even withl aws regulating the presence and participation of the military and police at a minimum of 50 meters away from polling precincts, more than 200 PNPA members were sighted in Silang, Cavite. Likewise, policemen in uniform were also sighted within the 50 meter radius set by the COMELEC. Military members have been deployed extensively in the different provinces of the region.

Amidst all these, election related killings and violence continuously take place, such asin Cavite where a supporter of a local politician was killed just this morning. Prior to election day, the killing of Eric Manlapaz, a critic of incumbent Cabuyao City Mayor was gunned down a day after his controversial expose in a Meeting de Avance regarding the latter’s corrupt governance. Several other election-related killings were reported in Binan Laguna, and Cavite.

No hope in the bourgeois elections –RCTU

The Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions-Southern Tagalog believes there is no hope for the people in such corrupted, faulty, and state-controlled elections. Obviously, this imperialist-directed procedure is just used by the ruling class, such as that of the Aquino dynasty, to maintain the status quo, exploit their power, and increase their wealth by stealing from the people’s money.

It is true that the people are the ones to decide what future holds for our country, but the pseudo-democratic selection of representatives of the ruling class does not give the people the chance to prove this decisive power. The workers, peasants, and the people have only one way to genuine social change, and that through the democratic people’s revolution—only then will the Filipino people be able to elect genuine representation, who will wholeheartedly serve the interests of the masses.