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EDITORIAL: Boon or Bane?

Conceptually speaking, computerization of the electoral process is expected to yield positive outcome. As events continue however, that contention is debatable. While it may appear to be of great help in the speedy determination of the voting results, modern technology gave birth to negative developments.

Among those that suffered is the well-intended ban on a very lengthy campaign period, which basically is an aftermath of setting a very early deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy that had been advanced to as early as October, or about seven months ahead of the forthcoming May, 2022 polls.

This early schedule for the filing of certificates of candidacy, according to the COMELEC, is necessitated by the objective of printing the list of candidates, which will be distributed to the different polling places within a reasonable period of time prior to the elections, delivered physically in hard copy.

Instead of effectively limiting campaign expenditures, computerization had further worsened the situation which in a sense is attributable to the advance filing of certificates of candidacy, thereby rendering it necessary for the political wannabes to declare their aspirations very much earlier. This is happening right now here in the Bicol region in particular and in the country in general.

In fact incumbents whose family members are being honed to join their expanding political dynasties have been in the campaign trail for more than a year already, using purely public funds.

This way political dynasties become institutions and whatever shenanigans a member of the family is effectively covered up with certain parties forming part of the entire continuing almost syndicated operation, including questionable biddings, purchase of supplies, materials and equipment, or even grant of licenses or franchises.

A premature revelation of the true political aspiration will surely need a well-funded political machinery. That translates to millions or even billions of pesos. Certain quarters supportive of their favorite bets have to extend their patience. Pragmatism dictates a more studied move.

Vice President Leni Robredo has advanced the reasoning that she is yet too preoccupied with her official function as the incumbent second highest official of the land. Apparently Mrs. Robredo is holding in abeyance announcement of her political plans either as president or governor, for practical purposes. Once she makes a formal announcement too soon her finances will surely be depleted, unless she generates financial support from sympathetic parties.

It should not be overlooked that aside from being constantly haunted by the obviously baseless protest from former Senator Bong Marcos, VP Leni has never enjoyed a sizeable perk she would have been entitled to, had she chosen to be part of the powerful and well-oiled Duterte administration.

What seems to have been overlooked is the sad reality that the criminally inclined have actively leveled up. Technological advancement is not a monopoly of the law abiding.

That is why the poll agency’s think tank and other well -meaning parties must develop strategies to counter the moves of the criminal minds. At this point in time determining whether computerization of the electoral process is a boon or a bane remains a major concern.


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