AES Watch launched
“Comelec is not ready for AES; prepare contingency plan now!”
With this message scribbled on a big Manila paper, conveners of the Automated Election System (AES) Watch asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to set its contingency plan in place because it is ill-prepared for the automated election on May 10. The conveners’ call was highlight the launching of the new citizens’ poll watchdog at Club Filipino, San Juan City.
AES Watch (pronounced as “eyes” watch) is an independent citizens’ alliance advocating credible and transparent elections.
Highlight of the activity was the presentation of the STAR (System Trustworthiness, Accountability and Readiness) scorecard which appraised 20 areas of concern for the 2010 automated elections as “pass,” “warning,” “danger” or “fail.”
The appraisal done on these 20 items insofar as the target deadlines were met or - whether ongoing or completed - the preparations and activities were accomplished properly forms the basis for rating the Comelec’s readiness for the automated elections.
Based on the STAR Card, Comelec is in the “danger zone” in its preparation for the coming May 10 automated elections.
Concerned over the fate of the coming elections, AES Watch called on the Comelec to immediately prepare contingency plan to address the risks and vulnerabilities of the system. The group also demands Comelec to be transparent about the true state of their preparedness.
The report was followed by a press conference with the members of the panel, among them Alfredo E. Pascual, president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) and AES Watch spokesperson; Pablo Manalastas of the Ateneo de Manila University IT Faculty; Bobby Tuazon, CenPEG Director for Policy Studies; Rachel Edita O. Roxas, Dean of De La Salle University - College of Computer Studies; and Einstein Recedes, president of the National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP).
The launch-press conference was hosted by the Concerned Citizens’ Movement (CCM) with former Undersecretary Josefina Lichauco giving the welcome.
The AES Watch Conveners include: UP Alumni Association (UPAA); Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG); National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA- CBCP), Bishop Broderick Pabillo (CBCP) and Bishop Deogracias Yniguez (CBCP and Ecumenical Bishops Forum / EBF); National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP); Dr. Reena Estuar, chair of AdMU’s Dept. of Information Communications System; Dr. Jaime Caro, UP computer science & President, Computing Society of the Philippines (CSP); Dr. Rachel Edita O. Roxas, DLSU College of Computer Studies; Computer Professionals Union (CPU); Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP); Dilaab Foundation; Association of Schools of Public Administrators (ASPAP); Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PhCERT); Transparency International (IT-Philippines); National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP); Engr. Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada; Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD); Senior Catholic Citizens’ Organization; Transparentelections.org; CCM; Coordinating Council for People’s Development (CPDG); Solidarity Philippines; Pagbabago (Movement for Social Change); Council for Health & Development (CHD); Movement for Good Governance (MGG); and others.