The era of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is ended. The 2010 elections is winding down. In its wake, it erased doubts about the new automated election system.
Whatever the remaining schemes being hatched out there, there is already a political crowning of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as the next president of the Philippines. The international community is also poised to give this recognition. The surprising evidence comes from the recognition given by most of the other presidential candidates through their act of conceding defeat.
The success of the PCOS/OMR machine and of the over-all automated election system (AES) basically established new electoral rules. It also wrote finis to the manual election system. When the citizen-voters enthusiastically embraced the system and flooded the precincts, they also removed all criticisms and doubts about the process.
The Commission on Elections can bask in the AES success. However, it is glaringly transparent that more work had to be done to erase any lingering doubt, refine the system and make sure that its integrity and credibility are safeguarded.
Politicians are painfully aware of the huge expenses incurred by post-election vote protection and protest procedures. Automated elections should lessen these. Early, reliable results also encourage early concession by defeated candidates, thus helping lessen the electoral tensions and attendant violence.
Major reforms in terms of electoral laws and justiciability of electoral protests, electoral administration, campaign strategies, campaign finance, political party strengthening, and voter education are also enhanced by the successful adoption of the AES. Along with a reform-minded political leadership, the door has been opened wider to these reforms.
We wake up tired but a bit more happy the morning after the May 2010 elections.