Philippine general elections, 2010

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The Presidential, legislative, and local elections in the Philippines was held on 10 May 2010. It was the first computerized national elections in Philippine history, administered by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in compliance with the Republic Act No. 9369 or the Amended Computerization Act of 2007.

The elected President to succeed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was prohibited by the Philippine Constitution to seek presidential re-election, is Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino of the Liberal Party. Elected Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan succeeded Noli de Castro, who did not declare his intention of running for any government post. The elected legislators joined the senators elected during the 2007 elections to comprise the 15th Congress of the Philippines.

Contents

Automation

The move to election automation started after the first synchronized National and Local Elections (NLE) in 1992. The pilot testing of an automated counting system using the Optical Mark Reader (OMR) technology was implemented during the 1996 Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections. A partial implementation was also conducted in the ARMM provinces for the 1998 NLE but the use of a centralized automated counting system in the 2004 NLE was halted. The pilot test of a fully automated election system was administered in the 2008 ARMM elections.

In 2010, Comelec is set to run the first nationwide fully automated elections, using the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine, from vote counting down to elections result canvassing.

Elections

The president and the vice president are elected separately. Winners, who are determined by the most number of votes, need not be from the same coalition in order to assume position. Both shall serve for six years with their term ending in 2016.

The 2010 presidential aspirants are Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III (Liberal Party), JC De los Reyes (Ang Kapatiran), Joseph Estrada (Partido ng Masang Pilipino), Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines), Jamby Madrigal (independent), Nicanor Perlas (independent), Gilberto Teodoro Jr. (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), Eddie Villanueva (Bangon Pilipinas Movement), and Manny Villar (Nacionalista Party). Kilusang Bagong Lipunan's Vetellano Acosta was disqualified from the race, but his name was retained in the ballot because his disqualification came after the printing of the official ballots.

The 2010 vice presidential hopefuls are Jejomar Binay (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan), Dominador Chipeco Jr. (Ang Kapatiran), Bayani Fernando (Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines), Loren Legarda (Nacionalista Party), Edu Manzano (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), Mar Roxas (Liberal Party), Jay Sonza (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan), and Perfecto Yasay Jr. (Bangon Pilipinas Movement).

Twelve of the 24 senatorial seats are up for the 2010 elections, all of whom will serve for six years. Candidates who will be elected into the House of Representatives will serve for three years.

There are 187 party lists vying for 55 seats in the House of Representatives. A voter shall elect one party list and not the party list's nominees. The first nominee of a party that obtain 2% or more of the national vote shall represent the party in the Congress. Additional seats for one party can be determined by the total number of votes it acquired using the Carpio Formula. [1] [2]

Local elections cover the voting of governor, vice governor, and board members for provinces, and voting of mayor, vice mayor, and councilors for cities and municipalities.

Issues

PCOS machines

Delays in the delivery of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines by contractor Smartmatic-TIM stirred apprehensions that other election preparations, i.e. teacher's training on poll automation, may lag as well.

In December 2009, only 30,000 of the promised 42,000 machines for the month arrived. Comelec said that this was due to high shipping costs during the holidays. [3]

On 28 February 2010, Comelec reported that all 82,200 PCOS machines are already delivered and that all 76,000 polling precincts in the country will get one machine each. Comelec added that 6,000 spare units are on standby.

On 3 March 2010, the two-day training of more than 150,000 teachers who will serve on the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in May began. The teachers were taught about the voting system and machine operation. An examination was administered in order to assess their understanding of the lectures. The trainings were conducted in batches and expected to end on 23 March. [4]

Ang Ladlad

The Comelec Second Division, led by Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, barred the gay-rights party list Ang Ladlad from seeking representation for the May 2010 polls. The division's 11 November resolution held that the group promotes “immorality.” The party was previously disqualified by the second division in the 2007 elections for “lack of nationwide presence.”

The group filed a 26-page petition before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to revert Comelec's decision, “accusing the poll body of grave abuse of discretion and violation of the Constitution and international laws.” [5]

On 12 January 2010, the SC ordered Comelec to include Ang Ladlad in the ballot.

Officials' resignation

On 22 February, the SC ruled that all appointive officials running in the national elections must resign from their posts in order to level the competition. This was contested by Malacañang lawyer Romulo Macalintal, who posited that the decision is discriminatory since it assumes that the appointed officials use their positions to the advantage of their candidacy.

Among the appointed officials gunning for local positions are Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita (running for congressman in the first district of Batangas), presidential legal counsel Raul Gonzales (running for mayor in Iloilo City), Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap (running for congressman in the third district of [Bohol]), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Augusto Syjuco.

On 24 February, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. resigned from his post as he is running for congressman in the first district of Camarines Sur. The next day, Department of Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera followed suit.

On 3 March, the SC denied “with finality” the motion filed by Macalintal and declared that appointed officials running in the May 2010 elections are considered resigned. This is in conjunction with constitutionality of election rules holding appointive officials to be automatically resigned upon filing their certificate of candidacy, during the period from 20 November to 1 December 2009.

Disqualifications

Comelec recorded 99 presidential aspirants but approved only eight. Among those whose candidacy were rejected are Oliver Lozano, former Manila representative Mark Jimenez, and lawyer Eli Pamatong.

Perlas was previously disqualified but appealed for reconsideration. He was reinstated on 14 January 2010 after Comelec ruled that Perlas has a distinguished track record for public service, the capacity to launch a nationwide campaign through the use of new media, and is backed by an organized group of persons. [6]

Several petitions were filed to disqualify top presidential hopefuls but failed to revert the poll body's decision, including Pamatong's move to bar Aquino, Teodoro, and Villar, whom Pamatong held to have violated the election ban on premature campaigning. Pamatong, with lawyer Evillo Pormento and disqualified aspirant Marilou Estrada, also sought for the disqualification of Joseph Estrada, whose candidacy was held by the complainants as a violation of the Constitution's prohibition of a former president to bid for re-relection. [7]

On 4 March 2010, Vetellano Acosta, whose name was already printed in the election ballots, was officially disqualified. The Liberal Party (Philippines) (LP) filed a motion maintaining that Acosta's name in the ballot would create confusion among voters as it dislodged Noynoy Aquino's name from the top of the list (in alphabetical order). [8] LP also held that Acosta was “was obviously a nuisance candidate from the start” since the coalition, Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, that he allegedly belongs to denies support of his candidacy. [9]

Poll-related violence

On 23 November 2009, 57 people, including Buluan vice mayor Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu's wife and relatives, and members of the media, were ambushed and killed by more than a hundred heavily armed men, held to be Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr.'s private army. The alleged mastermind of the Maguindanao Massacre was later arrested. Large caches of firearms and military equipment were retrieved from the Ampatuans' properties. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, known to be a former ally of the Ampatuans, declared martial law in Maguindanao on 4 December.

Northern Mindanao Chief Supt. Danilo Empedrad identified four “areas of concern” in the region: Claveria, Misamis Oriental; Baliangao and Sapang Dalaga in Misamis Occidental; Bukidnon; and Lanao del Norte. [10]

In January 2010, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines marked provinces as election hotspots for poll-related violence in connection with the presence of private armies reportedly working for local politicians. The 14 "election hotspots" are: [11]

References

  1. ^ "The Carpio Formula", Ateneo de Manila University Mathematics Department (accessed 4 March 2010)
  2. ^ "On the Carpio Formula and Target Number of Seats of a Party", Ateneo de Manila University Mathematics Department (accessed 4 March 2010)
  3. ^ "Costlier shipping delayed poll machine delivery - Comelec", GMA News (accessed 4 March 2010)
  4. ^ "Comelec begins training teachers to assist in automated polls", GMA News (accessed 4 March 2010)
  5. ^ "Ang Ladlad brings to Supreme Court bid to join party-list polls", politicalarena.com (accessed 4 March 2010)
  6. ^ "Perlas, Danny Lim make it to official list of candidates in May polls", GMA News (accessed 6 March 2010)
  7. ^ "Comelec okays Erap's presidential bid", SunStar (accessed 6 March 2010)
  8. ^ "LP top bet wants No. 1 slot in ballot listing", The Daily Tribune (accessed 6 March 2010)
  9. ^ "Comelec disqualifies KBL presidential bet", ABS-CBN News (accessed 6 March 2010)
  10. ^ "PNP, AFP, courts brace for election-related violence", CBCP News (accessed 4 March 2010)
  11. ^ "14 provinces tagged as poll hotspots", ABS-CBN News (accessed 4 March 2010)

Citation

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