May 10, 2010 is another remarkable day for all of the Filipinos. This is the day that will determine our future as well as of the next generation. There are a lot of hopes in the heart and mind of every Filipino--and top of its list is to survive the poverty we are facing at this time. Today is the day to test whether the new system of voting will be successful in our country...are we really ready for the automation of election? how about its accuracy? there are a lot of questions but one thing is sure we will not know the answer untill we didn't try.
Year 2001 when I started to be aware regarding the automation of election...hmmm matagal tagal na rin pala yon. One of the requirements on my subject in my master's degree is to have a feasibility study related to your field and since I'm only a "professional student" (jobless in short) that time and my partner for that who is now my best friend Tita Ninag is working in COMELEC we decided to have a study related to her field. We chose automation of election, as by that time its a proposal already although there are no concrete or accurate details.That's why when I heard last year that it will be implemented this election I was really happy because I know this is another start for the country to be in line with those who are competitive--hi tech kung tawagin.
Article 5 of the Philippines Constitution give way to suffrage. Although suffrage or right to vote is "not" right of every citizen its really very important for us to exerccise this right. Suffrage is not considered as everyone's right thats why its not included on Bill of Rights. May mga qualifications kasi needed to have this right.
Section 1. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.
Section 2. The Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.
The Congress shall also design a procedure for the disabled and the illiterates to vote without the assistance of other persons. Until then, they shall be allowed to vote under existing laws and such rules as the Commission on Elections may promulgate to protect the secrecy of the ballot.
I remember Judge Norberto Mercado, one of my prof on my MPA..."ang isang tao na hindi nagparticipate sa election has no right to complain on the government system". Until now I always remember those words which I really consider right. A person who in any means can exercise the power or the right to vote but choose not to has not into the position to complain on the system implemented in the Philippines even on its LGU. In fairness to our government and to COMELEC, they are extending their effort naman.
Nanghihinayang man ako kasi I was not able to experience the first automation election in the Philippines but I'm happy because I was able to vote as OAV sa Philippine Embassy dito sa Qatar. Although magisa ako last Friday after ng Church service, I asked Kuya Norman, my transport to drop me at embassy and what a coincidence is Kuya Norman was a former election officer sa Pinas...so as expected we share a lot of things while driving home about election as well as the Election Code.
I am really proud that I was able to exercise my rights as a Filipino Citizen at kaisa ako sa "AKO ANG SIMULA NG PAGBABAGO"