A senior lawmaker is pushing for reform in the country’s electoral processes as he sees the uneven rules in seeking elective positions as the “root” of corruption in government.
In a “Straight Talk” interview with the Daily Tribune on Tuesday, Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza claimed that the current voting system in the Philippines is still vulnerable to fraud, despite the emergence of a semi-automatic ballot-counting technology.
Atienza specifically pointed to the process in which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would only proclaim the winning partylist groups without disclosing the actual votes received.
“They would just announce who won. This means they (running partylist groups) can manipulate, buy votes or buy election results. We at the Buhay Partylist are really concerned (about this),” Atienza said.
“Many groups now in Congress may not be serving anything but their political interests. To do so, they can pay off officials from Comelec or Smartmatic so they can qualify for one or two seats in Congress,” he claimed.
Spreads like wildfire
Atienza said if fraud like this would take place, this must be where corruption which he said is “sweeping the land” begins.
“Canvassing should be restored to manual to prevent electoral fraud,” he averred.
If the Comelec would oppose this, Atienza supposed: “They want the status quo!”
“They may want to count votes in secrecy,” he assumed.
The former Manila mayor added that Smartmatic should only have control in the transmission of data or votes but it should not know what the actual data are.
Atienza, furthermore, pushes for pro-life advocacies and opposes “anti-life” programs like abortion.
“If we embrace the anti-life ideologies and embrace something like abortion, that would be the final nail for the nation’s destruction,” he explained.
“The Philippines would end up nowhere,” he added.