Hints it's subject to PGMA's control
MANILA, Philippines (Update 1) - Former President Fidel V. Ramos virtually accused President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of being able to manipulate the country’s first ever automated election on May 10.
Speaking to media at the airport before flying off to open a Metrobank Branch in Nanjing, China, Ramos compared the country’s first ever nationwide automated election system to his modern toilet system in his Makati office.
Ramos said the toilet system, though modern, can always be manually overridden. He even showed pictures.
He said the automated election can always be changed to manual if the power supply is cut.
When he showed pictures of the command control box of the toilet system, he said, “Who has control of the system?”
He paused and looked behind him at the picture of President Arroyo in the presidential lounge of the airport.
Later on, Ramos said, “That's correct, you can override, that’s why [there's] command manual option.”
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), meanwhile, denied that any person could manipulate the May 10 automated elections.
"You won't have this person cloaked in plain black, in a middle of a dark room in front of a computer that will manipulate [the automated elections]," Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal told ANC's Dateline Philippines.
He added: "With all due respect to the former president, no. That will not happen. Not one individual can get to the root control of the whole system. Not one person can do that," Larrazabal said.
He reiterated that the poll body does not answer to "a particular individual, candidate or political party, but to the Filipinos in general."
Larrazabal said that manufacturers of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) voting machines installed several security features into the system.
He said preventing hackers or any person that may try to manipulate the automated elections system is only one of those security features.
No endorsement yet
Ramos, meanwhile, called on all candidates for president and everyone running for election to start of with personal renewal of themselves. That way, he said, there can be national transformation.
He again declined to answer who he is endorsing for president.
He, however, said that Lakas-CMD won't be revitalized yet in the next few days.
The party he founded has seen some internal conflicts lately amid reports the president is backing a secret candidate, apart from the proclaimed administration candidate.