Some senatorial aspirants to petition against election surveys

Marje Pelayo   •   January 18, 2019   •   3267

(L-R) Atty. Larry Gadon and Antonio ‘Butch’ Valdez

MANILA, Philippines – Senatorial hopefuls Atty. Larry Gadon and Antonio ‘Butch’ Valdez on Monday (January 21) will file a petition at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against election surveys being conducted by Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Gadon argued that surveys prevent voters from choosing wisely as some are swayed to favor candidates based on survey ranking than on
track record and qualifications.

“Ang sinasabi ko dito sa petition, huwag na nilang i-publish dahil ang nangyayari nagiging instrument ito ng mind conditioning, na instead na makapagbigay ng tamang impormasyon sa botante ay parang ginagamit ito para ikondisyon ang isip nila na ito ang iboto niyo,” Gadon said.

The two also questioned the process of the surveys as they are tapping only a small percentage of the entire Philippine population.

They claim that surveys are not valid information but mere propaganda.

However, Jose Ramon Albert, a senior research fellow in the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) belied such claim saying surveys actually reflect the preference of the public.

Albert added that there are many factors that may influence a person’s preference such as the social media.

“The Supreme Court already had a view about this a long time ago about this being a right to information. Surveys are largely a snapshot of what people think. Whether others get influenced by a bandwagon is ultimately an issue of choices of people given information. Even traditional and social media are carriers of information and can influence people, should that mean media should be banned as well?” Albert said.

Valdez, for his part, urges the public to be wise in choosing a candidate and not to depend on surveys.

“We should get out people involved. Lahat po ng mga mamamayan, whatever your party affiliations are, you must get involved to get back the country into the hands of Filipinos,” he said.

The UNTV News and Rescue team sought the Comelec for comments but to no avail.

The poll body previously noted, however, that the public should not depend on surveys when it comes to voting or electing a public official.

“Halimbawa, kung ikaw naniniwala ka sa karapatan ng mga kababaihan, bakit ka pipili ng kandidato na ang mga kilos at mga gawa ay hindi nakatuon sa kababaihan o hindi pumo-protekta sa kababaihan?”
said Comelec spokesperson, James Jimenez .

“Pipili ka ng sumasang- ayon sa iyong paniniwala and I think iyon ang pinakamahalagang standard na ginagamit natin,” he added — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aileen Cerrudo)

9 of 10 Filipinos favor automated election system — Pulse Asia

Maris Federez   •   August 7, 2019

Majority of the Filipinos still favor continuing the holding of elections through an automated system in the future.

Based on Pulse Asia’s recent survey conducted last June, nine of 10 or 91% of Filipinos would still prefer having the elections done electronically.

They said an automated election system is faster and the results are immediately released.

“They feel that faster results made the Elections more credible and then it’s also easier compared to let’s say how we use to vote where you have to write the surname of the candidate,” Pulse Asia president Dr. Ronnie Holmes said.

An election watchdog, however, said that since election results were difficult to manipulate under the AES, reports of vote-buying increased.

“Vote buying became more rampant after we automated our Elections because candidates, politicians did not know how to cheat the machines,” said LENTE executive director Atty. Ona Carritos.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) believes that President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts the automated election system despite his earlier pronouncement in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) favoring the termination of the contract with Smartmatic. (with details from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

Comelec 1st division cancels Cardema’s nomination as Duterte Youth party rep

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2019

Ronald Cardema

MANILA, Philippines – The first division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday ordered the cancellation of the nomination of former National Youth Commission (NYC) Ronald Cardema as a representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list in the 18th Congress.

Comelec spokesperson, director James Jimenez announced the decision on his Twitter account.

“The nomination of Respondent, Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema, as the first nominee of Duterte Youth party-list is hereby cancelled,” read the dispositive portion of the poll body’s first division resolution obtained by UNTV News and Rescue.

Two of the three-member division, Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Marlon Caquejo, voted in favor of the petition while Commissioner Al Parreño was on official business.

In a 25-page resolution, the Comelec 1st division said that Cardema committed material misrepresentation on his age when he filed his nomination bid.

The division said Cardema was not eligible to be nominated as Duterte Youth party representative contrary to the declaration he made in his Certificate of Acceptance of Nomination.

He was also aware that he is already 34 years old, and thus “committed a falsity when he misrepresented that he eligible for nomination” despite not possessing the age qualification provided by law for representatives of the youth sector.

Section 9 of Republic Act 7941 or the Partylist Law provides that a nominee of a youth party-list group must be between 25 to 30 years old.

“In view thereof, this Commission finds respondent to have committed material misrepresentation on his qualifications,” the resolution read.

During hearings, the camp of Cardema claimed that Duterte Youth is a multi-sectoral party representing not only the youth sector but also the young professionals and this, he is eligible to be nominated despite his already being 34 years old.

But taking the petition as a whole, the division said, it can be observed that the party intended to limit its representation of professionals only insofar as “young professionals” are concerned. The division noted that Cardema himself admitted to this effect in the pleadings he filed.

“While it may be true that Duterte Youth Party-list represents both the young and young professionals, it is important to consider that the professionals being represented by the party are the “young ones,” who would necessarily belong to the youth sector,” the resolution stated.

“With this in mind, this Commission finds no reason why the age qualification provided by law for nominees of the youth sector should not be applied to the respondent,” the resolution added.

Election Lawyer Emil Marañon, counsel for petitioners against Cardema’s nomination, welcomed the Comelec division’s decision.

“We are happy to announce that with the vote of 2-0, the Comelec First Division has granted our Petition seeking the cancellation of the nomination of Gian Carlo Cardema as the First Nominee of the Duterte Youth Party-List,” Marañon said on a Twitter post.

“Hopefully, this decision will be the first step towards the reform of the party-list system, that is to bring it back to the truly marginalized and underrepresented sectors,” he said in a separate statement.

Voter registration pushes through despite proposal to postpone Brgy & SK Polls

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2019

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has pushed through with the voters registration despite the proposed postponement of the Barangay and SK elections next year.

According to Comelec Spokesman Dir. James Jimenez, it is better to be prepared in case Congress decides not to postpone the Barangay and SK polls.

Jimenez also said voters can still register even on Saturdays and holidays. The voter registration will run until September 30.

“The commission will open the registration process on Saturdays and even holidays to allow more applicants to be accommodated, especially students and working people who may not have time during weekdays,” Jimenez said.

An estimated two million voters will file their registration in the country.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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