BARELY A week left in the run-up to the 2007 midterm polls, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. is still trying to convince people that the May 14 elections will be credible and honest. He probably hoped it would be peaceful, too, but election-related violence has claimed the lives of close to a hundred people so far, including a Cebu mayoral candidate shot dead right in front of the Comelec’s provincial office.
THE COMMISSION on Elections has a lot to account for, with some of its “mistakes” running into billions of taxpayers’ pesos. Ironically, some of its costliest errors had started out as a means to improve the election process and minimize voting irritants
TO DESTROY an institution like the Commission on Elections (Comelec), you must first fill it up with handpicked commissioners with questionable credentials and even more dubious impartiality. Then, let them run the constitutional body as if they were ruling over personal fiefdoms. This would then reduce middle-level bureaucrats to mere vassals doing — or forced to do — their every bidding, including perhaps, as the taped conversations involving President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano suggest, rigging the elections in their political benefactor’s favor.
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