Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Automating elections will be easy, says Gordon

By Edson C. Tandoc Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:01:00 01/05/2010

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20100105-245710/Automating-elections-will-be-easy-says-Gordon

MANILA, Philippines—Implementing the automated election law is easy. Take it from the law's author, who is also running for President in the country's first automated elections.

Sought for comment Tuesday on the poll body's assessment that its preparation so far has been "satisfactory," Sen. Richard Gordon said he believed what the Commission on Election said.

Gordon added: "I authored the automation law. It can be easily done."

In an interview on Monday, Comelec Chairman Jose Melo gave the agency a better-than-average score of 8 out of 10 in terms of its readiness for the country's first automated elections this year.

But in an interview on Tuesday, Gordon reiterated his call to hold the elections earlier in some places.

He said: "What matters to me is the early voting in some areas where there is a tendency to be violent."

Gordon filed Senate Bill 2972 on early voting in certain places last Dec.16. It is pending in the Senate while a similar bill has also been filed in the House of Representatives.

In an en banc resolution last month, the Comelec also urged Congress to fast-track a law that would allow elections to be conducted in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao before April 12.

Gordon and his running mate, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando, attended a press conference in Manila Tuesday morning where they both called on the media to focus on vital issues.

In an earlier press conference, Gordon also asked voters to look beyond money and popularity and instead focus on issues and track record.

"We will make life better for the Filipinos," Gordon said. "That is not a promise, because we have already done it in Olongapo City and Marikina City."

Gordon served as Olongapo City mayor and tourism secretary while Fernando served as Marikina mayor.

He admitted he was not as rich as presidential candidate Sen. Manny Villar nor was he as popular as Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, but Gordon said that among those running for the country's highest elective post, he has had the most experience in executive positions.

Saying he was not delving into negative campaigning but just focusing on issues, Gordon asked voters to compare his public service record with those of Aquino and Villar.

Gordon said: "This is fair game, not negative campaigning."

He said Aquino had no experience in holding an executive position. Gordon also said that unlike Aquino, he was very active in the Senate and authored landmark laws, including the election automation law.

He also asked voters to ask why, despite several members of the Aquino and Cojuangco families who occupied various elective positions, serving as president, senator, governor, vice-governor, congressman and mayor, the province of Tarlac remains the same.
Gordon also said Villar lacked political consistency, noting that Villar, then as a House speaker, elevated the impeachment complaint against former President Joseph Estrada in 2000, only to ally himself with the ousted leader a few years later when he ran for the Senate.

Gordon said he and Fernando not only had more than 13 years of experience, but they also have "political will."

He said: "We can make this nation great for the first time."

He acknowledged that the country achieved economic growth under President Macapagal-Arroyo, but the gains were not felt because of the numerous scandals that rocked her administration, like the unresolved fertilizer fund scam and the National Broadband Network deal with the Chinese company ZTE.

He said the country has suffered from government leaders who "lose their focus all the time."

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20100105-245710/Automating-elections-will-be-easy-says-Gordon

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