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Comelec can't count?

Comelec can’t count?
EDITORIAL
The Daily Tribune
04/07/2010

Clearly, the claimed cancellation of the close to P700 million contract for “secrecy folders” which is nothing but a poll scam, was yet another “face saving” measure of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioners after being caught red-handed foisting a scam on the Filipino people.

There was an awarding by the commission for the procurement of 1.8 million secrecy folder costing P3.80 per piece but passed on as P380 per piece--an astronomical overprice.

The spin being given by the commissioners, after this scam was bared, was that it was canceling the contract because not only was the price extravagant, but also that the number of folders was beyond the ordinary needs of the commission.

But can’t the commissioners and the executive director, Jose Tolentino, along with other poll executives involved in this scam, count?

First off, why award this contract for l,800,000 folders — even if it has not, as claimed, been signed — knowing that there are only so many precincts and so many folders needed on election day in each precinct?

And if these commissioners and poll officers don’t quite know their math, then with the help of a calculator, it would have been easy to multiply the cost of one folder at P3.80 times the number of security folders needed for each precinct, in which case, that anomaly would have been discovered right off — that is if they themselves were not in the scam.

Not one of them thought that the price of P700 million was much too much for these security folders? Come, come. Let not the Filipinos be insulted again.

From reports, the commission en banc signed the recommendation of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) headed by Maria Leah Alarkon and endorsed by Executive Director Tolentino who had even designed the security folder.

It is impossible for the BAC, headed by Alarkon, who recommended this contract to the commission en banc, and endorsed by Tolentino, not to have realized, and known, that the price of P3.80 was upped to P380.00 per folder because just doing the math would not have resulted in a P700 million contract. That was no typo error. That was major scam.

But that poll scam would have pushed through, having already been approved by the commissioners at that horrendous overprice had not a senator questioned this overprice. But surely the same commissioners who approved this onerous contract must have also known that there was that scam of a highly overpriced contract by simply doing their maths?

It is either that the commissioners and the scammers were all in it, or that the nation has pretty dumb poll commissioners who can’t even count. Or, to be kind to the commissioners and their chairman, they don’t know what the heck they are getting into, and merely approve anything and everything that has a lot of money involved, without even reading the contracts and leaving everything to the other officials — some of whom are said to be the leaders of the cheating syndicate in the Comelec — The Big Four.

In much the same way, as early as January, the commissioners must have known that the UV ink used by its dubious partner, Smartmatic, on the ballots was wrong, in the sense that the UV markings on the ballots, a security feature, are unreadable, and therefore a useless security feature. Yet it took them so long to admit this, and after printing so many millions of ballots — still without that security feature.

But to this day, the Comelec continues to defend its partner in crime, Smartmatic, saying it is not that the UV ink is the wrong ink, but that the printers were too speedy to take in that UV ink. Hello? Who are these poll officials trying to fool?

The unvarnished truth behind all these moves to fully automate these elections, instead of trying automated polls in designated cities and provinces to test the effectivity of the automated elections, is that the commissioners were blinded by the huge P11.3 billion given them by the Congress. That’s a lot of money to be scammed, that is for certain — apart from the fact that poll cheating was always in the cards, from the very start.

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