.
 
Updates
 

Automated Election System (AES) Technology Fair set on July 27
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced today that there will be an Automated Election Systems Technology Fair on July 27, 2014, where up to ten (10) technology providers will be given the opportunity to present their respective election solutions to the public. After each presentation, questions will be entertained.

Satellite Registration for the 2016 National and Local Elections

Clients of PHL embassy in Riyadh to go through overseas voter registration
Filipinos in Saudi Arabia who will avail of consular services from the Philippine embassy in Riyadh will automatically go through overseas voter registration.

In an advisory, the embassy in Riyadh said it will extend overseas registration services to "all Filipinos who will avail of consular services."

Drop the PCOS machines or have an ‘exception process’
AS experts, like our columnist Lito Averia, have been explaining for years now, the Comelec’s very expensive PCOS machines rejected hundreds of thousands of ballots that were not counted manually and recorded.

This means that hundreds of thousands of voters were disenfranchised–their votes were never counted, they were in a sense deprived of life by the PCOS machines. continued >>>

2014 Namfrel Infographics on Voters' Registration
(right click and "save link as...")

Help Ashoka find the Philippines' leading social innovators

Statement of the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) on the Conduct of the 2013 Barangay Elections
The Barangay Elections conducted on October 28, 2013 passed with considerable success and was generally peaceful despite reports of sporadic violence across the country. The occurrence of sporadic violence is due to the intense rivalry in local politics. However there are still practices and serious election offenses that continue to cast a dark shadow on the electoral process.

NAMFREL celebrates its 30th anniversary and inaugurates the Bantay ng Bayan Awards
. In commemoration of its 30th year, the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections held a Thanksgiving Mass on October 26, 2013 at the National Shrine of the Divine Child at La Salle Green Hills in Mandaluyong City, simultaneous with similar prayer services held by NAMFREL chapters in major cities nationwide.

Speech/Homily of His Excellency Most Rev. Ramon B. Villena, D.D., Bishop of Bayombong
NAMFREL 30th Anniversary Thanksgiving Mass, October 26, 2013 - National Shrine of the Divine Child, La Salle Green Hills, Mandaluyong City
Congratulations to NAMFREL, congratulations to us. NAMFREL is not just a name, it is a story, it is history, made up of people abounding in love of GOD and country, with deep commitment, undying spirit of sacrifice, and even fearless martyrdom. We are gathered together to celebrate the 30th founding anniversary of NAMFREL, our anniversary.

Myanmar election stakeholders dialogue with Philippine counterparts
.   Members of the Myanmar (Burma) Union Election Commission as well as representatives from civil society were in the country from September 22-27 for a study trip sponsored by IFES Philippines to dialogue with their counterparts and to connect with electoral peers.

The Cambodian Election
. ANFREL deployed a team of eight experts from six Asian countries headed by this writer, to observe the Parliamentary Elections in Cambodia on July 28, 2013. Our findings were presented to a group of diplomats from the European Union (15 embassies represented) in Bangkok, Thailand, hosted by the Swiss Embassy.

NAMFREL mourns the passing of Fr. Jose P. Dizon, convenor of election monitoring organization Kontra-Daya
NAMFREL mourns the passing of Fr. Jose P. Dizon, convenor of election monitoring
organization Kontra-Daya. In his 40 years of priesthood, Fr. Dizon dedicated his life not
only to his faith but also in the service of the poor and to human rights, especially
workers’ rights. He was actively involved in the anti-dictatorship movement, and most
recently he was involved in the movement to abolish the pork barrel. As convenor of the
poll watchdog Kontra-Daya, he led concerned organizations and sectors in the demand
for additional safeguards to the automated election system and for vigilance against
election fraud, and in exposing irregularities in the elections.  continued >>>

NAMFREL names Ateneo de Zamboanga University as Bantay ng Bayan Awardee for 2013
The Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU) has been given a surprise recognition by the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) as one of its Bantay ng Bayan Awardees during the launching of its 30th year anniversary celebrations on October 26, 2013 at La Salle – Greenhills (High School unit) in San Juan City. AdZU, the only education institution awardee, was cited for being excellent in organizing its students, faculty, staff and other citizens in Zamboanga City for election related activities and for having been NAMFREL’s partner since its first election engagement in the 1980’s.  continued >>>

Xavier University celebrates NAMFREL’s 30th
True to its call to be a “university serving society,” Xavier University celebrated the 30th anniversary of the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) through a gathering of volunteers, a Thanksgiving Mass, and a light-a-candle ceremony at the University Church on Oct 26.

“Xavier University has always been a home of NAMFREL,” said Ermin Stan Pimentel, Director of XU’s Social Involvement Office and NAMFREL Provincial Coordinator for many terms. “In the 1986 snap presidential elections, Fr Francisco Demetrio SJ, founder of XU Museum, started the mobilization of NAMFREL volunteers with the mission of ensuring that the mandate of the people will be pursued by guarding the ballots,” continued Pimentel.  continued >>>

Diocese of Catarman observes NAMFREL's 30th Founding Anniversary with Peace Covenant Signing
CATARMAN, Northern Samar, Oct. 27 (PIA) – The Diocese of Catarman thru the Diocesan Pastoral Secretariat, Diocesan Social Action Commission led in the observance of National Citizen’s Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL)’s 30th Foundation Anniversary on October 26, 2013 with the Covenant Signing for an honest and peaceful barangay election in Northern Samar.

Fr. Fred I. Placa, the Diocesan Pastoral Director said that NAMFREL plays a significant role and greatly contributes in ensuring free, orderly, honest and peaceful elections in the Philippines. continued >>>

The Bantay ng Bayan Awards 
  In commemoration of its 30th year, the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) announces the recipients of the inaugural Bantay ng Bayan Awards, given out during the anniversary program held at La Salle Greenhills on October 26, 2013. The Bantay ng Bayan Award is given to individuals or organizations that embody the values of NAMFREL, recognizing their achievements in electoral reform and good governance advocacy, and who continue to make significant efforts in bringing the same to their own community and/or profession, in the Philippines and/or beyond. continued >>>

NAMFREL 30th
 Our Candle Continues To Shine Brightly

NAMFREL marks its 30th year
MANDALUYONG CITY — October 23, 2013
NAMFREL today announced its commemoration activities in line with the 30th Anniversary of its founding. On Saturday, October 26, 2013, at 4pm, Thanksgiving masses / prayer services shall be held simultaneously in major cities nationwide.  continued >>>

Executive Summary of NAMFREL's Report on the May 13, 2013 National, Local and ARMM Elections

Executive Summary of NAMFREL's Report on the conduct of its Random Manual Audit Monitoring project for the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections
August 8, 2013
NAMFREL deployed on May 13, 2013 teams of volunteers (including members of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Jaycees) for Random Manual Audit Monitoring (RMAM), to observe the conduct of the RMA by the Comelec's RMA teams, and to make a report on the results of the manual count vis-a-vis the PCOS count. Of the 234 clustered precincts chosen by the Comelec for the RMA, NAMFREL volunteers were able to submit reports with complete data for only 130, which were the basis for this analysis.  continued >>>

Random Manual Audit in Manila
by Mark Lester D. Toribio, Chairperson, NAMFREL-Manila
August 8, 2013

Monitoring the conduct of the Random Manual Audit was one of the important projects conducted by Namfrel in the May elections, to help assess the accuracy of the count of the PCOS machines...  continued >>>

Extending Voters’ Education to the Crucial Sectors
by Joan Jamisolamin and Nestor M. Banuag, Jr. (Chairperson), Volunteers, NAMFREL-CDO/Misamis Oriental
August 8, 2013

The sight of young people carrying huge placards and walking around the public markets is something that is not seen everyday, and indeed they drew the attention of vendors, hawkers, buyers, passersby and commuters.  continued >>>

On Being a First-Time Voter
by Mai Arcano, BA Political Economy, University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)
NAMFREL Volunteer
A few days before the event, I made sure that my registration is valid and that I am eligible to vote for this year’s elections. I also made other preparations such as searching for my precinct number, listening to senatorial debates, researching on candidate profiles, and a speck about knowing the voting procedure.  continued >>>

It’s Okay, SK?
by Veejay Calutan, BA Journalism, UP Diliman
NAMFREL Volunteer

Article 15 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, entitled, “Freedom of Association”, provides for the establishment of what we know today as Sangguniang Kabataan. The convention purposely strived for the right of the youth to organize and to be represented.  continued >>>

Mga friends, reminder lang!
Open ngayong weekend ang mga local Comelec offices para sa mga gustong magpa-register para sa SK at barangay elections. Deadline na kaya sa Wednesday, pero we suggest gawin na natin habang maaga pa. Let's go na and register bago manood ng sine at gumimik. Taralets!  

  Dude, registered ka na ba para sa barangay election sa October?
Kung di ka pa registered, or deactivated na ang records mo sa Comelec, or kailangan mong i-transfer ang records mo, magparegister ka na by Wednesday, , July 31, pero 'wag mo nang intayin pa yun 'no, para ka namang hindi nasanay sa dagsa ng mga tao. Make sure na may dala kang valid IDs at proof of residence. O ano, tara!  

  Mga ATE at KUYA!
Magpa-register na kayo para sa Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections sa Comelec. Hanggang Wednesday (July 31) na lang pwede, pero 'wag  n'yo nang intayin pa yun. If you are 15 yo. but less than 18 yo. by October 28, 2013, then pwede ka nang magpa-register sa SK. Please bring your birth certificate, ID, at proof of residence. Go na! Arf!

Makakaboto ka kaya sa next Presidential elections? SIGURADO KA?

Makakaboto ka lang sa May 2016 kung registered ka at kung nakuhanan ka na ng COMELEC ng biometrics information. Kung nakaboto ka nitong May 2013 pero di ka pa nakuhanan ng digital photograph, fingerprint at signature, HINDI KA PA RIN MAKAKABOTO SA 2016.

Pumunta ka na ngayon sa local Comelec office mo para magpa-validate.

Kung ‘di ka sure kung may biometrics info ka na na “Available” sa Comelec records, check mo now na sa COMELEC Precinct Finder: http://bit.ly/PYfPAn

Challenges in Campaign Finance Monitoring & Enforcement in the 2013 Elections
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, Secretary General, NAMFREL 
June 25, 2013

Monitoring election contributions and expenditure has been given emphasis by the Comelec in the 2013 Philippine mid-term elections to improve opportunities and chance for candidates with limited resources for a successful campaign. However, enforcement of and compliance to these regulations were muted due to a combination of resource constraints of Comelec, unclear implementing rules, and existing election rules & regulations which contradict the spirit of campaign finance laws.  continued >>>

Incomplete reporting by the Comelec
by Telibert C. Laoc, Member, NAMFREL National Council
International Elections Specialist 

June 25, 2013

At this link you will find the National Board of Canvassers' resolution 10-13 of June 5, 2013 officially proclaiming the results of the senatorial race:  http://www.comelec.gov.ph/uploads/Elections/2013natloc/res/nboc_res_001013.pdf
   
A few questions begged to be asked:
. 1. How many established and clustered precincts did these results come from?
2. What is the total number of voters who voted?
  continued >>>

Voting in Doha, Qatar
by Maria Christina Pascual-Serafica, NAMFREL Deputized Representative for Qatar 
June 25, 2013

Voter turnout was low but this was to be expected according to Vice-Consul Melvin C. Almonguera. They were expecting a better turnout on the 2nd weekend of the voting period. Vice-Consul Almonguera also added that he knew that voters may find it a bit difficult to go the embassy since there is no public transportation available in that area.   continued >>>

Election day at the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center
by Perre Ian Dela Cruz, Chairperson, NAMFREL-Zamboanga City
June 25, 2013

Right after I voted at West Central Elementary School, I immediately went to the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center to observe the process of election given to the registered detainees. The Local Comelec Office, District 1, Zamboanga City made a special arrangement with the BJMP-Zamboanga City in order for the registered detainees to shade their ballots inside the chapel of the said compound.   continued >>>

Voters' Education: A challenging new experience for us
by Bp. Benedicto S. Navarro, Chairperson, NAMFREL-Marikina
June 25, 2013

It was no easy task, but we took the challenge. To even think of pulling the people out from what they have been used to doing for decades, in fact every election since the Philippines gained its independence and began exercising their right of suffrage, has been like fighting an invisible foe. But nevertheless, since we were given this task, then, we had to do it. continued >>>

My first NAMFREL volunteer engagement
by Jenny Lim Rauto, Lourdes College Student
NAMFREL Volunteer, Cagayan de Oro

June 25, 2013

Being a volunteer was quite a big challenge for me because in this team we experienced hardships. In spite of what we went through, still we faced them with patience and understanding. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. When I decided to volunteer I couldn’t imagine how grateful I would be that I was given the chance to be part of the team. Having the chance to be a NAMFREL 2013 volunteer was beyond words and an amazing opportunity for me. During our market campaign, I met different kinds of people who had different stands and ideas on current political issues. It was an opportunity for me to develop my leadership skills. continued >>>

When Principles No Longer Suffice: NAMFREL and the 2013 Elections in the Lens of an Intern
by Ruth Genevieve A. Lumibao, BS Political Science, UP Manila
June 25, 2013

There is no greater volunteerism than that of protecting democracy itself. As Political Science students, the main objective of the practicum was for us to see the dynamics of theory and practice. Our usual curriculum allowed 200 hours spent in either a government or non-government office, if not in a far-flung area for immersion trips. continued >>>

Election in Malaysia
by Damaso G. Magbual, Member, NAMFREL National Council
Chairperson, Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)

June 25, 2013

A round table discussion on three recent elections in Asia was organized by the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) in UP Diliman on May 31. These elections were held in Pakistan, Malaysia and the Philippines (with emphasis on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao - ARMM). Mr. Raveendran Nair of the Malaysian Embassy in Manila gave a report on the last election better referred to by the media and the political contestants as General Election 2013. Mr. Nair gave a brief presentation on the election process as well as the results. There was hardly any room for disagreement on what was presented. continued >>>

Winning the war against democracy
by Amina Rasul, Member, NAMFREL National Council
President, Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID)

June 25, 2013

A month has passed since the May 13 midterm elections in the Philippines. While the elections were orderly and peaceful, there have been many reported incidents that have marred the electoral process. For instance, as NAMFREL and other watchdogs had warned, a significant number of PCOS machines malfunctioned. COMELEC Chair Brillantes has said, “we may not pay the entire amount if we can show that the problems and defects were from Smartmatic." 258 out of the 78,000 PCOS machines used in the polls bogged down. The report of the Random Manual Audit (RMA), which should have been done on election night, has not been released yet even though the sample of 234 precincts is a small one. Fears, that the results may be “massaged”, are not allayed by the non-reporting of the RMA results. However, the automated counting system has made wholesale cheating more difficult, particularly the “dagdag-bawas” (adding-subtracting votes from the official tallies) that used to plague the counting of votes. continued >>>

2013 ELECTION: QUESTIONABLE
A Statement of the CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA)

Comelec Resolution No. 9706 - Group Canvass Reports as Basis for Senatorial Winners

Statement
May 17, 2013
With the transmission of Election Returns (ERs) at COMELEC’s Transparency Server being stalled at 76.3273% as of 5:41 PM on May 17, Friday or five days after the May 13 voting, a lot of apprehension is going around over COMELEC’s plan on how it will account for the remaining 23.6727% missing ERs.. continued >>>

AES Transmission Sequence

NAMFREL Report on ERs Received through Comelec's Transparency Server (as of 1541H, May 17)

Press Release: Election Updates
May 15, 2013
Comelec announced that, as of 11AM today, it has only received 14 Certificates of Canvass (COC) out of 302 expected COCs from 80 provinces, 26 cities, 1 Local Absentee Voters (LAV) and 195 Overseas Absentee Voters (OAV). continued >>>

NAMFREL Report on ERs Received through Comelec's Transparency Server (as of 1300H, May 15)

Press Release: Detailed Election Results
May 15, 2013
NAMFREL provides detailed and validated results for Senatorial candidates in its website. Results are available per region, per province, per town and down to the precinct level. Results are updated at least every two hours. continued >>>

Press Release - Observation Updates
May 15, 2013

NAMFREL Incident Reports - as of 8PM, May 13
May 13, 2013

PRESS STATEMENT: NAMFREL Hails Filipinos for Exercising Their Right To Vote and For a Generally Peaceful Elections 
May 13, 2013

NAMFREL Election Day Reports - as of 11 A.M. 
May 13, 2013

PRESS STATEMENT - NAMFREL urges every Filipino to be a citizen-observer in tomorrow's elections
Ms. Corazon de la Paz-Bernardo, Chairperson of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) urges the Filipino voters to go the extra mile when they vote tomorrow, May 13 by being citizen-observers for a free, honest and orderly elections. The first order of the day for every qualified voter of course is to go to the precinct to exercise his/her right (and duty) to vote. continued >>>

PRESS STATEMENT - NAMFREL - We Are Ready 
The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections or NAMFREL has set-up its National Operations Center for the election week at the 3rd Floor of the PICPA Building along Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. Through an Ecumenical Service held on Sunday, May 12, 2013, the Headquarters’ operations officially kicked-off. continued >>>

NAMFREL writes to the Comelec on Computerized Voters' Lists (CVL) 
NAMFREL asked its provincial chapters to check the Computerized Voters’ List (CVL) which will be used in the May 13, 2013 elections to validate its completeness, accuracy, and currency, and, as prescribed in the COMELEC calendar, if these are posted at the local COMELEC offices. continued >>>

NAMFREL writes to the Comelec on PCOS Final Testing and Sealing
In line with our commitment to provide the COMELEC with feedback on the field situation in the lead up to the election on Monday, May 13, we would like to share with you the observations coming from our 33 provincial and 10 NCR city chapters on the Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) of the PCOS machines. Since the final day of the FTS is today, May 11, the reports from the field are still coming in.. continued >>>

FTS Observation by NAMFREL volunteers - Positive Points
Positive Points in the FTS Observation by NAMFREL Volunteers. continued >>>

PCOS FTS - Areas for improvement
Areas for Improvement of the PCOS Machines (from Observation of FTS by NAMFREL Volunteers) continued >>>

NAMFREL Operations Center opens on Sunday, May 12
We would like to announce that for the May 2013 elections, NAMFREL will have its National Operations Center at the national headquarters of the Philippine Institute for Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), 700 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. continued >>>

NAMFREL writes to the Comelec on vote buying

Comelec PCOS Final Testing and Sealing Schedule

Join the 3K Run for Honest, Orderly, and Peaceful Elections (May 10, 2013, Malate, Manila)

PRESS RELEASE - NAMFREL expresses concern over reliability of PCOS machines for the May 2013 elections (April 25, 2013)
NAMFREL’s mandate as a citizens’ arm is to assist the COMELEC in ensuring the conduct of free, orderly and clean elections. As such, its volunteers have already reported on the performance of the PCOS machines in several demonstrations conducted in their chapters. Based on their reports, NAMFREL would like to express its concern on the reliability of the performance of the machines that will be used during the May 2013 elections.

Share NAMFREL's Voters' Information messages

Civil Service Commission invites public servants to volunteer for NAMFREL
(April 3, 2013)

NAMFREL Press Release: NAMFREL Gears Up for the May 2013 Elections
(March 2, 2013)

NAMFREL 2013
(February 15, 2013)
The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), which pioneered the people’s involvement in the electoral exercises of 1984 and 1986 (when President Ferdinand Marcos agreed to call a snap election), is back.

NAMFREL Chairperson is guest speaker at UE Caloocan Forum on Governance Issues
(February 13, 2013)

COMELEC accredits NAMFREL as citizens' arm for the May 2013 National and Local Elections

The Voter's Pledge
(January 13, 2013)
(This Voter Pledge was read at the Unity Walk of 13 January 2013, by COMELEC Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph)

NAMFREL Participates in Unity Walk for SAFE 2013
(January 13, 2013)
Close to a hundred NAMFREL volunteers participated in the Unity Walk and Prayer Rally for Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) 2013, held on January 13, 2013 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

140 days to go before the May 2013 elections
Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brilliantes, Jr. admitted that the screening and purging of party list organizations, which started in mid-2012, had been eating up the time of the Comelec en banc. continued >>>

Comelec to strengthen implementation of campaign finance rules
The Comelec is planning to tap the help of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Commission on Audit (COA), the Office of the Ombudsman, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and even citizens' arms to assist it in monitoring campaign spending in connection with the 2013 election. continued >>>

Electoral reform measures adopted
It is not only the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill that kept the Senate and the House of Representatives busy in the last few weeks. Several measures in line with electoral reform advocacy were also adopted or at least mulled: continued >>>

Did we ever have the PCOS source code? Can we still use the 82,000 machines we purchased?
A lawsuit filed by Smartmatic in September against Dominion Voting Systems in the state of Delaware in the United States has recently surfaced and covered by Philippine media. In the lawsuit, Smartmatic seeks compensation from Dominion for allegedly withholding technology and services licensed to them..  continued >>>

Senate passes electoral reform measures
The Senate recently approved several bills that seek to improve Philippine elections. Approved on third and final reading was Senate Bill no. 1030, which seeks to require Comelec to capture voters' biometrics data: photograph, fingerprint, and signature.  continued >>>

Comelec to become more strict on campaign spending
In an interview, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. said the commission will strictly monitor campaign contributions and expenses of candidates in the May 2013 polls. He also said that the Comelec might tap the help of election watchdogs to help monitor the campaign expenses and verify documents that will be submitted by the winning and losing candidates after the election pertaining to their actual expenses.  continued >>>

Updated unofficial list of Party-list organizations approved by Comelec to run in the 2013 polls
The Comelec has not issued any official list of organizations that the Comelec en banc has approved so far to run in May 2013, but based on media statements by the Comelec, here is an updated list as of November 20: .  continued >>>

Election hot-spots being monitored
As the election period draws near, incidence of election-related violence were noted in many regions and provinces in the country. The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Comelec are assessing the areas that are considered as election hot-spots and places where private armies might be present.   continued >>>

COMELEC bid out goods and services for the 2013 elections
The Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) has conducted public bidding for a total of nine lots for the goods and services that will be employed or used for the 2013 elections. Following are the items that the Comelec has bid out for and the status of the procurement:   continued >>>

Comelec approves NPO procurement of ballot printing services
For the supply and printing of official ballots for the 2013 elections, the Comelec upheld the awarding of the contract to the Holy Family Printing Corp. (HFPC) and Canon Marketing Philippines by the National Printing Office (NPO)..   continued >>>

A roundup of regional election news
Former Dapitan City mayor disallowed to run for public office
Former Dapitan city mayor Dominador Jalosjos lost his privilege to run for public office as the Supreme Court (SC) affirmed its previous ruling which provides that the former mayor is ineligible to run due to his past criminal conviction.   continued >>>

Dominion's response to Smartmatic (October 17, 2012)

Former Comelec and NAMFREL Chairman Christian Monsod's election contribution recognized through 2012 Baxter Award
The National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) proudly congratulates Mr. Christian Monsod for being the recipient of this year's Joe C. Baxter Award from the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).  continued >>>

Response of Christian S. Monsod on being given the Joe C. Baxter Award for 2012 by the IFES, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Washington DC, November 5, 2012
I am deeply honored at being given the Joe C. Baxter award for 2012 by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. I thank its Board of Directors and its Philippine Office for this unexpected honor. It is a most welcome boost to the task of nation-building of which IFES has been a valued partner through the years.  continued >>>

Comelec starts preparing for Random Manual Audit for the 2013 elections
October 30, 2012
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), through Resolution no. 9538, reappointed the members of the 2010 Random Manual Audit Committee (RMAC) to carry out the random manual audit for the 2013 automated elections:  continued >>>

Comelec-Smartmatic contract upheld by high court
October 30, 2012
On October 23, 2012, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled with finality that the contract between the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and Smartmatic-TIM Corp. for the counting machines to be used for the 2013 elections is valid. The contract, amounting to PhP 1.8 billion, is for the option to purchase (OTP) availed by the Comelec which is a component of its contract with Smartmatic for the 2010 automated elections.
continued >>>

Ballot samples test conducted as short-listed suppliers are questioned
October 30, 2012
One thousand (1,000) ballot samples were tested at the National Printing Office (NPO) on October 11 and 12, 2012, through the recommendation of the Comelec. The NPO was instructed to have the ballot samples tested if they will be read and accepted by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines. Comelec required this testing before the contract is awarded to the winning bidder for paper ballots and security printing.  continued >>>

House approves bill providing for insurance coverage for poll workers
October 30, 2012
Individuals serving as members of the Board of Elections Inspectors (BEI), Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI), Board of Election Tellers (BET) as well as their support staff may likely receive insurance coverage, on top of the usual honoraria given election workers.   continued >>>

Updated list of Senatorial candidates approved by Comelec
October 30, 2012
As of October 30, 2012:  continued >>>

Comelec doubled OAV registrants
October 30, 2012
A year after the registration of overseas Filipinos resumed for the May 2013 elections, the Commission on Elections and the Department of Foreign Affairs nearly doubled the number of registered overseas Filipino voters, to about 915,000.   continued >>>

A roundup of regional election news
October 30, 2012
Davao del Sur governor plead s to have private armies in the province disbanded
Governor Douglas Cagas of Davao del Sur revealed to the members of the media that private armies with political backing is prevalent in their province, thus placing the province under Comelec might prove to be futile to maintain order. .  continued >>>

NAMFREL stalwart Christian Monsod to receive international award for electoral reforms in the Philippines
October 30, 2012
Former Comelec Chairman and NAMFREL pioneer Christian Monsod is this year's recipient of the Joe C. Baxter award. The award, given by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), is presented annually to a professional committed to the principles of ownership, transparency and sustainability  continued >>>

An update on NAMFREL's participation in the Medicine Monitoring Project
October 30, 2012
NAMFREL-MMP (Medicine Monitoring Project) continues to implement monitoring in areas where the local chapters are also performing voluntary work to promote good governance. Currently, monitoring is limited only to public bidding. Outside Metro Manila, 14 hospitals and CHDs (Centers for Health Development) are currently being monitored: 7 in Luzon, 2 in the Visayas, and 4 in Mindanao.  continued >>>

NAMFREL council members participate in world assembly of democracy experts and advocates
Press Statement - October 24, 2012
Three members of NAMFREL's National Council participated in the recently concluded Seventh Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy in Lima, Peru from October 14-17. The World Movement for Democracy is a non-govenment  continued >>>

Less than 8 months to go before the 2013 elections
October 1, 2012
Filing of COCs
All prospective candidates for the May 2013 national and local elections only have this week (October 1 to 5, 8am to 5pm) to file their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs). According to Comelec Resolution no. 9518 released on September 12, all registered political parties are also to submit to the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) Law Department the names and specimen signatures of their official party nominees not later than October 1.  continued >>>

Comelec disqualifies party list groups
October 1, 2012
After a review by its First and Second Divisions to eliminate dubious groups organized by politicians and influential families, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualified last week 17 organizations that sought to be accredited to participate in next year's party list elections. The organizations deemed not qualified for not meeting the standards for Party List groups set forth by the Constitution and the Party List Act are the following: Addicts and Alcoholics Carrying the Message Association, continued >>>

Smartmatic audit report of the July 24-25, 2012 Mock Elections presented last September 5 to the House Committee on Suffrage & Electoral Reform

A Review/ Analysis made by TransparentElections.org / CSOs/ IT groups of Smartmatic-TIM Corp.'s "Mock Elections Summary Report" on the Mock Elections conducted on July 24-25, 2012
The presentation was disallowed last Sept 5. However, this same report was presented to the Senate Oversight Committee on Suffrage on September 10

List of registered Party-list groups which have filed manifestation of intent to participate for the May 2013 Elections with their nominees

List of pending Party-list groups/political parties which have filed manifestation of intent to participate for the May 2013 Elections with their nominees

Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) holds Asia Regional Workshop on Engaging Citizens to Fight Corruption
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
January 24, 2012
As part of its partnership with the PTF through the Medicine Monitoring Project, NAMFREL along with other Philippine NGOs, participated in a regional peer learning and knowledge sharing workshop on Engaging Citizens Against Corruption in Asia. The event was sponsored by PTF in collaboration with its Indian partners the Public Affairs Center, CUTS-International and Transparency International.
continued >>>

CGMA and Abalos: From one case to another
January 24, 2012
After her being on hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center for electoral sabotage case in relation to the 2007 elections, the lawyers of former President and currently Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have resigned upon request of their client. Father and son lawyers Jose and Albert Flaminiano and Laurence Arroyo filed before Pasay RTC Judge Jesus Mupas a motion to withdraw as legal counsels of Rep. Arroyo. Only Atty. Benjamin Santos remains as counsel to represent Arroyo in the electoral sabotage case. CGMA requested the three lawyers to concentrate on the graft cases at the Sandiganbayan.  continued >>>

Second generation politicians in Zambales' special election
January 24, 2012
On February 4, 2012, more than 200,000 voters in the province of Zambales will see no new faces in the special election for the second congressional district. The special election was set by Comelec upon the request of the Provincial council of Zambales to replace Rep. Antonio Diaz, who died last year.
continued >>>

Comelec initiates steps to uphold transparency
January 24, 2012
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc promulgated Resolution no. 9307, otherwise known as the “Code of Conduct Governing Procurement Activities of the Commission on Elections”. The resolution emphasized Comelec’s staunch commitment to uphold transparency and efficiency in its procurement process.   continued >>>

Assailed Imus Mayor appealed to Comelec, denied
January 24, 2012
Former Imus, Cavite mayor Homer Saquilayan’s appeal for a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was denied. Saquilayan filed for a TRO after his appeal was rejected twice by the Imus Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 22. The Comelec First Division headed by Commissioner Rene Sarmiento denied the petition.
continued >>>

More than 500 election cases face dismissal by Comelec by the end of the year
November 21, 2011
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) posted on their website on November 9 a Notice to the Public signed by Law Department director Atty. Esmeralda Ladra, which states:

"Please be advised that the records of the cases listed hereunder are no longer available at the Law Department. Hence, all parties concerned and/or their counsel may file their manifestation of intention to actively pursue the case and submit copies of all their pleadings and evidence filed with the Investigating Officer for purposes of reconstitution on or before December 31, 2011 at the Investigations and Prosecution Division, Law Department, Commission on Elections, 8th Floor, Palacio del Gobernador Bldg., Intramuros, Manila from 8:00 o’clock in the morning to 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon.  continued >>>

Comelec files electoral sabotage case against Arroyo, et al
November 21, 2011
Voting five out of seven, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) filed on November 18 an electoral sabotage case against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in connection with the 2007 senatorial elections. Two commissioners, Lucenito Tagle and Armando Velasco abstained, as they said they had not yet read the resolution.  continued >>>

Roundup of several election cases in connection with the May 2010 elections
November 21, 2011
Retrieval of Taguig ballots ordered

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division set anew the retrieval of ballot boxes in connection with the election protest filed by losing candidate and former Supreme Court Justice Dante Tinga of Taguig City. The protest was filed against the winner, Mayor Ma. Laarni Cayetano. In the resolution issued by the Comelec First Division, the retrieval of the ballot boxes is set from November 22 to November 25, 2011. The previous dates set for the retrieval, through a resolution issued on September 30, were October 27 and 28, and November 2 and 3.  continued >>>

Comelec employees want raise to "fight temptations"
November 21, 2011
In connection with a recent proposal by Bureau of Customs chief Rufino Biazon for a “10-percent to 15-percent” raise in benefits for Customs employees to help them avoid "everyday temptations," a group of Comelec employees similarly want a wage increase. Armando Mallorca, convener of the Comelec Wage Fight Alliance (CWFA), said that a higher pay “may [also] help Comelec employees fight temptations” especially during election period.  continued >>>

Egypt to go to polls, a revolution continues
by  Paolo B. Maligaya, NAMFREL Senior Operations Associate
November 21, 2011
On November 28, Egypt will go to the polls to elect members of the lower house of parliament, the first such electoral exercise in the country since the end of the 30-year presidency of Hosni Mubarak, forced to resign in February during the Egypt uprisings which started in January 2011. The Egyptian revolution followed similar protests in Tunisia; these uprisings as well as those in neighboring countries similarly calling for the end of the respective regimes in power, were later dubbed the "Arab Spring." 
continued >>>

Cases filed before the Comelec facing DISMISSAL

Arroyo and company summoned by poll fraud probe team
October 28, 2011
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was served two subpoenas by the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the ongoing investigation on the alleged fraud during the 2004 and 2007 elections. The subpoenas were for the election sabotage charges filed by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), and for violating the Omnibus Election Code as
recommended by the DOJ-Comelec joint panel that was tasked to investigate the election fraud case. Together with Arroyo, thirty-five (35) other people allegedly involved in the poll irregularities were also summoned.  continued >>>

Stricter penalties for poll offenses pushed
October 28, 2011
A bill proposing stricter penalties for election violations was approved on second reading by the House of Representatives. The bill was authored by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro), Erico Aumentado (Bohol) and Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Abante Mindanao party-list). The bill also intends to amend Section 45 of Republic Act 8189, or the Voter’s Registration Act of 1996, and portions of section 264 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines.  continued >>>

Medicine Monitoring Project 2 concludes this month
by Edgar E. Camenting, NAMFREL Project Coordinator
October 28, 2011
Namfrel's Medicine Monitoring Project 2 ends this October. The project was implemented in 28 Department of Health (DOH) hospitals and Centers for Health Development (CHDs) across the country with a commitment of support from DOH. The implementation of the project was supported through a grant from the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF). The success of the project was due to the participation of Namfrel chapters, partners and individual volunteers in making the process of procurement and contract implementation more transparent and compliant to the provisions of the Government Procurement Reform Act 9184.  continued >>>

West Papua election: to be continued
by  Paolo B. Maligaya, NAMFREL Senior Operations Associate
October 28, 2011
After being delayed three times, the West Papua gubernatorial election finally took place on July 20, 2011. However, acting on a lawsuit filed by three losing candidate-pairs in said election, and with voter turnout of only 53% (with the lowest turnouts recorded in West Papua's two major cities - Manokwari and Sorong, with less than 40%), Indonesia's Constitutional Court nullified the results of the election, ordering the holding of another round of election, to be held on November 9, 2011.  continued >>>

The Arab Spring hurdles its first test in Tunisia
October 28, 2011
Tunisia successfully held its Constituent Assembly elections on October 24, its first after the Tunisian Revolution in March; some say it was the country's first free election since gaining independence in 1956. Observers hailed the election as free and fair, peaceful and orderly. The election commission that organized the polls peg the voter turnout at 90% of the total 4.1 million registered voters. Campaign started on October 1, and Tunisians overseas got to vote on October 20 to 22 in their respective embassies and consulates to elect 18 members of the 217-seat Assembly.  continued >>>

Arroyo, Abalos et al to be charged for electoral sabotage
October 21, 2011
The joint fact-finding team of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) recommended on October 20 the filing of charges against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos, and several others, for electoral sabotage in connection with the 2007 elections. In a media briefing, members of the fact-finding team, tasked to gather and evaluate evidence regarding the alleged cheating in the 2004 and 2007 elections, submitted their report to DOJ secretary Leila De Lima, who said that the report is comprehensive enough to convene the preliminary investigation committee as early as October 24.  continued >>>

Supreme Court affirms ARMM poll postponement
October 21, 2011
Voting 8-7, the Supreme Court ruled on October 18 that the law synchronizing the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with regular elections, is constitutional. Republic Act 10153, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Aquino in June, allows the President to appoint officers-in-charge (OICs) for the offices of the ARMM regional governor, vice-governor, and members of the regional legislative assembly, who "shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office."  continued >>>

Sen. Cayetano hails NAMFREL volunteers’ sacrifices
by Nestor D. Malapajo, Jr., NAMFREL Volunteer
October 21, 2011
During the joint hearing on October 18 of the Senate Electoral Reforms Committee, headed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, and the Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired by Sen. Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Committee member Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano hailed the sacrifices of NAMFREL volunteers in the 2004 and 2007 elections, together with other witnesses who allege that the elections were rigged and fraudulent.  continued >>>

COA says Smartmatic delivery charge excessive
October 21, 2011
A Commission on Audit (COA) report released last week showed that the company that supplied the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in the 2010 elections was paid excessively. Smartmatic International Corp. was awarded a contract worth Php 526.62 million for the delivery and transport of ballot boxes.  continued >>>

Atienza’s camp still in hot pursuit
October 21, 2011
After the Commission on Elections (Comelec) dismissed the protest filed by losing mayoral candidate Lito Atienza of Manila, new issues were raised by his camp as to the integrity of the counting machines used in the 2010 elections. These issues form part of their argument in connection with the Comelec’s decision on the protest filed against Manila mayor Alfredo Lim.  continued >>>

ASEAN Election Management Bodies’ Forum
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
October 21, 2011

The wave of democratization sweeping throughout several regions has allowed the emergence of new democracies. Elections have been recognized as an important process in consolidating and sustaining these new democracies, with electoral management bodies (EMBs) becoming the prominent institution in respective societies. Given the importance and these responsibilities, EMBs felt increasing need to learn and share experiences and knowledge among their peers to share views and discuss common issues leading to the formation of the regional EMB associations. These forums are now regarded as a necessity to continue the improvement of electoral processes and for strengthening democracy.   continued >>>

Overseas Filipino Voters (OFV) Registration Kicks off with Training of Diplomats and Improved Procedures
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
October 21, 2011

In a move to solve recurring problems in the overseas absentee voting (OAV) system, the two Congress Committees on Suffrage and Electoral Reform and the Commission on Elections held in September a multi-sectoral forum to draw up plans to address the low Overseas Filipino Voter (OFV) registration and declining voter turnout.  continued >>>

Internet voting: the Estonian system
by Paolo B. Maligaya, NAMFREL Senior Operations Associate
October 21, 2011

Out of the estimated 11 million overseas Filipino workers, only half a million registered for the 2010 elections, and only about 26% of those who registered actually cast their votes, a very low turnout indeed considering that around 80% of Filipinos turned out to vote in May 2010. Filipinos abroad decry the difficulty of access to voting centers to register and vote, as well as the difficulty of taking time out from work to travel for these activities.   continued >>>

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes' reply to CSOs' Statement of Concern on his appointment

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes' Reply-Affidavit re Director Rafanan's accusations

Arroyo linked to 2007 poll fraud
October 10, 2011
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) presented to the public on October 3 a new set of witnesses in connection with the alleged irregularities that marred the 2007 mid-term elections. The witnesses served as election officers (EOs) and provincial administrator from Maguindanao during the 2007 elections. Provincial administrator Norie Unas, along with 14 EOs were presented to members of the press.  continued >>>

Brillantes' appointment confirmed
October 10, 2011
The appointment of Sixto Brillantes, Jr. as Chairman of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has finally been confirmed during the fourth hearing on his confirmation at the Commission on Appointments (CA) on October 5. After Brillantes’ confirmation was endorsed by Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, co-chair of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Offices, no other members of the CA opposed. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who had been against Brillantes’ confirmation, chose to abstain during the voting.    continued >>>

NDI/UNEAD Meeting
October 10, 2011
The Global Network for Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM), through the initiative of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), saw the need for a “set of standards for self-awareness and accountability among nonpartisan election monitoring organizations.” Thus, a drafting committee was organized sometime in May 2010 and met at Johannesburg, South Africa to “define the activities and delineate ethical obligations concerning impartiality, independence, accuracy transparency, nondiscrimination, respect for the rule of law and cooperation with other electoral stakeholders….”    continued >>>

Golput (Boycott)
by Paolo B. Maligaya, NAMFREL Senior Operations Associate
October 10, 2011

Like in any other election I observed in the past, we set out early. With the driver, interpreter, and a local guide, we hit the road before 6:30am because we wanted to observe the opening of polls prior to the prescribed start of voting at 7am. In the Philippines, by 6:30am, the people hired by candidates to distribute sample ballots and campaign materials outside polling centers (in complete disregard for election rules) would already be out in full force. In countries like Nepal and Afghanistan, the voters, mostly men, would already be gathering outside polling places with glasses of tea in hand, to await the start of voting.   continued >>>

Statement of Concern on the Confirmation of Atty. Sixto Brillantes, Jr. as Chairman of Comelec

Ferdinand Rafanan's Affidavit opposing the CA confirmation of Sixto Brillantes, Jr.

Atty. Magdamo and Sen. Pimentel's Motion for Grievance filed before the Ombudsman in connection with the ballot secrecy folder scam

High Court suspends ARMM poll synchronization law
September 13, 2011
The Supreme Court (SC) has issued on September 13 a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the implementation of RA 10153 or the law that allows the postponement of the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and its synchronization with the midterm elections in 2013. The TRO will entail the deferment of the appointment of ARMM OICs until the new officers are elected.  
continued >>>

WikiLeaks cables raise questions about past elections
September 13, 2011
Recent leaked cables released by anti-secrecy internet group WikiLeaks have caused much discussion and controversy. The documents, mainly confidential and top secret cables sent from the U.S. embassy in Manila to Washington spanning several years, quote not a few individuals including prominent businessmen, and implicate prominent politicians in alleged illegal activities pertaining to past Philippine elections.   continued >>>

Rafanan no longer Comelec Law Department Chief, BAC Chair
by Edward C. Torcuato, NAMFREL Assistant Project Coordinator
September 13, 2011

Former Comelec Law Department chair Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan has been transferred to the Planning Department, after also being removed by the Comelec from the joint DOJ-Comelec committee investigating allegations of fraud in the 2004 and 2007 elections. Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. described Rafanan as "uncontrollable." Prior to this development, Rafanan had been complaining to the media about his transfer from the Law Department to the ad hoc investigation panel. As head of the Law Department, Rafanan spearheaded the investigation on the overpriced secrecy folders in 2010.    continued >>>

Et Tu “Hintuturo” – the Biometrics Voters Registration Law a finger away from a clean voters list? (Part 2)
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General 
September 13, 2011

Currently, registered voters cannot be compelled to undergo biometrics data capture (“finger printing”) since no additional requirement for registration other than those provided under the Voter Registration Act of 1996 (RA 8189) can be imposed. To deal with this inadequacy and to cleanse the list of voters through the use of an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), legislations were filed in Congress to amend RA 8189 to make biometric capture for all voter registrants mandatory.  
continued >>>

A challenge to Filipinos
September 13, 2011
In his lecture on September 2 entitled "Creating Paths for Sustainable Citizen Vigilance In a Young Democracy," Ramon Magsaysay awardee Koul Panha of Cambodia stressed the importance of citizens participation -- not just in safeguarding the electoral process, but more importantly, in monitoring the performance of elected officials -- to ensure that democracy is alive and working. Mr. Panha is the Executive Director of Cambodia's Committee for Free and Fair Elections, a non-partisan network of civil society organizations that work for free and fair elections and good governance in Cambodia.   continued >>>

Members of investigation team to look into alleged poll fraud named
August 27, 2011
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has named the members of the fact-finding team that will assist the joint DOJ-Comelec body that will investigate allegations of fraud in connection with the 2004 and 2007 national elections.  continued >>>

60 vie for OIC-ARMM Governor
by Nestor D. Malapajo, Jr., NAMFREL volunteer
August 27, 2011

At least 60 people have either applied formally or have been nominated to the position of Officer-In-Charge Regional Governor for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Other OIC positions available are those of the Regional Vice- Governor (1) and the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) composed of 24 members from all the districts in the provinces of Basilain, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.   continued >>>

Puentevella vs. Leonardia recount underway
August 27, 2011
On Monday, August 22, 2011, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) started the manual revision of ballots contested in relation to the protest filed by former Bacolod City representative Monico Puentevella against incumbent Mayor Evelio Leonardia. The two faced off during the 2010 elections for the mayoralty position of the city.  continued >>>

Freedom of Information Act: A deliberate delay?
by Edward C. Torcuato, NAMFREL Assistant Project Coordinator
August 27, 2011

After it was drafted in 2008, House Bill 3732, otherwise known as the “Freedom of Information Act of 2008,” is yet to be ratified as the 14th congress under the leadership of Speaker Prospero Nograles fell short by seven (7) congressmen to complete the 135 votes needed. Because of this failure, Speaker Nograles drew criticisms from journalists.  continued >>>

Focus on West Papua (Part 2)
by Paolo B. Maligaya, NAMFREL Senior Operations Associate
(Mr. Maligaya was in West Papua to observe the July 20, 2011 gubernatorial election for the Asian Network for Free Elections - ANFREL)l
August 27, 2011

In 2003, the Indonesian half of New Guinea -- called "Irian Jaya" (IRIAN said to mean "Ikut Republik Indonesia Anti-Nederland"), and then officially called "Papua" up to that point -- was divided into two administrative provinces: Papua in the east, retaining the city of Jayapura as capital, and West Papua, with the city of Manokwari as capital.  continued >>>

Cambodian free and fair election advocate to receive Ramon Magsaysay Award
August 27, 2011
Namfrel would like to congratulate Mr. Koul Panha, Executive Director of Committee for Free Elections (COMFREL) -- a non-partisan election monitoring organization in Cambodia -- for being named as one of the recipients of this year's prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Awards. Mr. Panha is being recognized for "his determined and courageous leadership of the sustained campaign to build an enlightened, organized and vigilant citizenry who will ensure fair and free elections -- as well as demand accountable governance by their elected officials -- in Cambodia's nascent democracy." continued >>>

Push Electoral Reforms Now to Protect Votes in the Future
August 18, 2011
Recent events—the resignation of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, the assumption to the Senate of Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III after winning his four-year-old  continued >>>

COMELEC urged to purge voters’ list
August 22, 2011
Malacañang and the House of Representatives are gearing for and have made initial steps to cleanse the voters’ list in time for the 2013 elections.

The House of Representatives approved a bill (HB 3469, with Rep. Susan Yap as principal author) seeking to have the voters’ list purged. Under the bill, registered voters will just have to go to the election officer in their city/municipality to validate their registration. The voters’ biometrics will then be captured using Data Capturing Machines (DCMs),after which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will produce the list with biometrics data as a security measure..  continued >>>

Et Tu “Hintuturo” – the Biometrics Voters Registration Law a finger away from a clean voters list? (Part 1)
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
August 22, 2011

Initiatives towards improving the integrity and quality of the Philippines' voting registry run parallel to efforts in automating Philippine elections. Using fingerprint biometrics in building and sustaining a cleansed voters' database has been around for many years. The effort has spanned four administrations and six national elections and is still currently being pursued.  continued >>>

Samar recall elections likely to push through
August 22, 2011
On August 5, 2011, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) signed a ruling dismissing the motion for reconsideration filed by Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan, and her younger brother Vice Governor Stephen James Tan, in connection with the recall petitions filed by concerned registered voters in the province.  continued >>>

Namfrel's copies of election returns help resolve protest cases
by  Nestor Malapajo, Jr., NAMFREL volunteer
August 22, 2011

Four years after the 2007 elections, Atty. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III was proclaimed on August 11, 2011, the winner for the 12th senatorial slot in the 2007 elections. The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) decision was hastened with the resignation of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri. Sen. Pimentel will serve Zubiri's unfinished term of one year and two months.  continued >>>

Focus on West Papua (Part 1)
by  Paolo B. Maligaya, NAMFREL Senior Operations Associate
(Mr. Maligaya was in West Papua to observe the July 20, 2011 gubernatorial election for the Asian Network for Free Elections - ANFREL)

August 22, 2011

Two time zones away from the Indonesian capital Jakarta, Western Papua is the Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea, the world's second largest island next to Greenland. Rich in natural resources, most of western Papua is composed of dense forests, with a high degree of biodiversity, home to many endemic species like the cenderawasih (bird of paradise) that Papua is known for.   continued >>>

Poll fraudsters open an electoral "Pandora's box"
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
August 10, 2011

Like in the story of the mythical Greek character Pandora - the first woman on earth - who unleashed evil contained in a jar which was forbidden to be opened, so too had scourge abound after revelations and renewed accusations from former ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan and his cohort Maguindanao Province Election Supervisor Atty. Lintang Bedol of poll fraud perpetrated during the 2004 and 2007 elections.  continued >>>

Cleansing the Computerized Voters List (CVL)
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
August 10, 2011

A forum was conducted by the Comelec - Election and Barangay Affairs Department (EBAD) on “Cleansing the Computerized Voters’ List” on July 11, 2011. Four major concerns were cited by COMELEC on assessing the quality of the voters registry. These are: 1) Multiple registrants, 2) Deceased registered voters still in the list, 3) Illegal registrants such as minors or non/illegible-residents, and 4) Missing names in the CVL.   continued >>>

Medicine Monitoring Project Update
As of July 2011
by Edgar E. Camenting, NAMFREL Project Coordinator

Ten months since the implementation of Medicine Monitoring Project 2, NAMFREL was able to help ensure transparency in the procurement and contract implementation in selected DOH managed hospitals and regional health offices. With active participation of NAMFREL in the BAC procurement proceedings and in the implementation of contract, irregularities were minimized to make the procurement process more transparent and acceptable.   continued >>>

Winning candidates defy law
July 8, 2011
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) came out this week with an in-depth report on the nonsubmission to the Comelec by candidates in the May 2010 elections of Statements of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SECEs), as required by law. "If laws on campaign finance were enforced to the letter, (many winning candidates) should not be occupying their seats right now," says PCIJ.   continued >>>

ARMM polls postponement remains challenged
July 8, 2011
The Supreme Court (SC) required the Office of the President (OP) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to comment within 10 days on the oppositions challenging Republic Act 10153, a law postponing the August 8, 2011 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).   continued >>>

Atienza urges for continuation of ballot revision
July 8, 2011
Losing Manila mayoralty candidate Lito Atienza asked the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to continue revising more ballots in connection with the protest he filed against incumbent mayor Alfredo Lim. Atienza, through his counsel Romulo Macalintal, said that the initial revisions done earlier this year on contested ballots from 200 precincts yielded substantial findings for them to urge the COMELEC to continue with the revision of the remaining 1,221 precincts. continued >>>

ANFREL: Peaceful and orderly Thai election
July 8, 2011
The Asian Network for Free Elections, which deployed more than 60 long- and short-term observers from 20 countries throughout Thailand to observe the July 3 parliamentary election, hailed the conduct of the election as peaceful and orderly. In a statement, ANFREL chair and Head of Mission Damaso G. Magbual said, “The election period, in particular Election Day on July 3rd, was managed well and without any major incident which would call into question the election’s results. continued >>>

Electoral violence in Asia
July 8, 2011
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently released a report entitled "Understanding Electoral Violence in Asia," focusing on the nature of electoral violence in the region, as well as the factors that prevent or perpetuate it. The report presents analysis of case studies commissioned by UNDP in seven countries: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and the Philippines. continued >>>

President Aquino signs ARMM poll postponement law; SC asked to nullify said law
June 30, 2011
President Aquino signed on June 30 the law postponing the election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Republic Act No. 10153 synchronizes the ARMM elections with the national mid-term elections in May 2013.     continued >>>

Unused campaign contributions to be taxed
June 30, 2011
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued on June 14 Revenue Regulation No. 7-2011, outlining the agency's policy on unused campaign contributions. Though the BIR upholds that campaign contributions are non-taxable since "such contributions were given not for personal expenditure/enrichment of the concerned candidate, but for the purpose of utilizing such contributions for his/her campaign," it makes an exception for campaign contributions that were unused.    continued >>>

Elected lady officials retain their posts
June 30, 2011
After the Commission on Elections (Comelec) served a Notice of Vacancy at the Lucena City hall, the Supreme Court (SC) issued a status quo ante order stopping Comelec to remove elected Barbara “Ruby” Talaga from the mayoral post. The Comelec on June 28 then recalled its earlier resolution ordering Talaga to vacate the post.     continued >>>

ANSA Global panel meeting & Social Accountability (SAc) ICT Fiesta
June 30, 2011
The first ANSA (Affiliated Network for Social Accountability) Global advisory panel meeting was held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila from June 27 to 29. With the theme One ANSA – learning from the ANSA Experience & Launching a Global Network, the three-day event brought together global social accountability stakeholders from government, civil society, and other development partners. The gathering aimed to convene the ANSA global panel, the equivalent of Executive Committee to launch the ANSA Global hub; share lessons among regional ANSAs; facilitate information exchange among ANSAs and other regional partners; and discuss future ANSA Global initiatives.     continued >>>

Law postponing ARMM election delayed
June 21, 2011
President Aquino has been accused of delaying the signing into law of the bill postponing the election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), originally scheduled for August 8. The President is set to sign four bills into law on June 21, but not among them is the law deferring the polls. In a press briefing, Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang said “We’re waiting for the right time to pass that.”     continued >>>

Anti-Political Dynasty bill finally tackled in Congress; would cover all national and local elective positions
June 21, 2011
Before Congress went on recess last week, the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms conducted for the first time on June 1 a hearing on the anti-political dynasty bill filed by Rep. Teddy Casiño, et al. House Bill 3413, filed in October 2010, originally sought to only ban dynasties in the provincial, city and municipal levels where they are most commonly experienced. Casiño said when the bill was formulated, political dynasties had yet to infiltrate the party-list system.    continued >>>

COMELEC acts on election protests in Sarangani and Pangasinan
June 21, 2011
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to act on the election protest filed by a losing candidate for mayor in Maasim, Sarangani.  Mayoralty candidate Arturo Lawa filed a petition before the Comelec alleging that there was an error in the transmission of results during the May 2010 elections. In his petition filed in May 2010, Lawa stated that the “Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBOC) erroneously counted the votes cast during the mock elections,” as the testing and sealing of the counting machines, or PCOS (precinct count optical scan) were conducted in the precinct where the machine was deployed.  continued >>>

FIT4E Conference Resolution: "Support the Filipino IT for Automated Elections"
June 13, 2011

Comelec says ARMM election will be manual
June 2, 2011
During the May 31 hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Local Government on the ARMM election postponement, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. said that due to time constraints, the Comelec cannot automate the ARMM election anymore, and would have to use the manual process if the polls are held in August as scheduled.    continued >>>

Bill postponing ARMM election shelved, then retrieved
June 2, 2011
After the Senate Committee on Local Government, upon holding several consultations with stakeholders, concluded that the bills seeking to postpone the ARMM elections violate ARMM's autonomy, and after the Committee had submitted its report that was unfavorable to the proposed bills, the Senate, during its plenary on May 31, sent the bills to its archives. However, just a few minutes after the shelving, several Senators, including Committee chair Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., moved that the bills be revived and placed on the Senate calendar to be deliberated on further.    continued >>>

Special Election in Ilocos Sur held
June 2, 2011
On May 28, 2011, the Commission on Elections held a special election in the province of Ilocos Sur. The election was for the position vacated by former Rep. Ronald Singson after he resigned to serve his sentence of 18-month imprisonment for drug possession in Hong Kong. Ronald’s younger brother, Ryan, won the elections as the 1st district’s representative to the House of Representatives with 71,995 votes, defeating his rival Atty. Bertrand Baterina who garnered 30,445 votes. Singson was proclaimed as the official winner by the COMELEC in the morning of May 29, 2011.    continued >>>

Comelec wants to create new precincts for PWDs and senior citizens
June 2, 2011
In a House Committee on Suffrage hearing on June 1 to discuss a bill mandating the use of ground-floor polling places for persons with disabilities and senior citizens, the Comelec, through Commissioners Rene Sarmiento and Armando Velasco, recommended that separate precincts be formed for said voters, to be referred to as "highly-accessible polling places." The Comelec said these polling places would have their own separate voters lists, special Boards of Election Inspectors (SBEIS), election paraphernalia, and PCOS machines (should the election be automated using Smartmatic's machines).   continued >>>

Namfrel FINAL Tally, Ilocos Sur Dist. 1 Special Election
May 28, 2011

NAMFREL Election Day report on the Special Election in the 1st District of Ilocos Sur
May 28, 2011
The special congressional election in the 1st District of Ilocos Sur for the position vacated by
Rep. Ronald Singson has been peaceful, with no reports of violence or any untoward incident.  
continued >>>

Comelec considering manual elections for ARMM
May 28, 2011
As there is no certainty yet whether the ARMM election would be held as scheduled in August, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. said that they are now considering having a manual election for ARMM, if the final decision regarding its postponement comes not until June. Brillantes said the Comelec wants to automate the ARMM elections but it would be “taking a very high risk” if it would proceed, given the uncertainty of whether or not the elections would push through. “We do not want a very tight timeline because it may only lead to problems or failure of the automation. We do not want to take that risk also,” Brillantes said.  continued >>>

May 2010 automation "made a mockery of our right of suffrage"
May 28, 2011
Tanggulang Demokrasya (TanDem), a multisectoral coalition of civil society leaders, organizations and institutions, was launched on May 26 in a press conference.The group also rejected the further use of Smartmatic's PCOS machines in future Philippine elections. In a statement, the group said that the May 2010 elections ushered in a "mechanism for fraud," which "betrayed the electorate" and "made a mockery of (Filipinos') right of suffrage." continued >>>

When positions are won without getting elected
After the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) decision on the protest regarding the mayoral race in Lucena City – in which the vice mayor is being installed by the Comelec as mayor (a position he did not run for) – it is now the turn of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) to act on a similar protest case filed against the representative of the 4th district of Leyte.   continued >>>

ARMM election still uncertain
May 23, 2011
With less than three months to go, the holding of the scheduled election in the ARMM on August 8 is still uncertain. The senate is still in the process of holding consultations on whether it should be postponed or not, before the matter is presented to the bi-cam for deliberation. he lower House has earlier approved the bill postponing the election, and to have it synchronized with the May 2013 national and local elections.  continued >>>

Angeles City Election Protest
May 23, 2011
Within ten days after the May 10, 2010 elections, former Angeles City Mayor Francis Nepomuceno filed an electoral protest against Edgardo Pamintuan, who had just won the election with a final count of 60,5632 votes against Nepomuceno's 34,105 votes. In his protest, Nepomuceno alleged that Pamintuan's camp placed identifying marks and other unnecessary words and expressions in the ballots that caused the PCOS machines to count the votes in Pamintuan's favor. Nepomuceno also reportedly alleged that the machines were preprogrammed to count votes for Pamintuan.  continued >>>

Filipino IT community to hold conference on automated election
May 23, 2011
The Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch) will be holding the first-ever nationwide conference on automated elections, on June 13, 2011 at the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center in UP Diliman. Entitled FILIPINO IT for Election (FIT4E), preparations are being spearheaded by conveners engaged in IT, science and technology, citizen's participation, and policy study and research..  continued >>>

Comelec wants to automate ARMM elections using PCOS
May 16, 2011
The Comelec en banc has reportedly decided to adopt the PCOS machine and the OMR technology to automate the ARMM elections. The polls tentatively scheduled for August, would involve only a small number of candidates vying for governor, vice-governor, and assemblyman posts in the five province of the autonomous region. The en banc supposedly voted 6-1 in favor of the automation using the PCOS, with only Commissioner Augusto Lagman maintaining that the ARMM elections should be automated using another technology. The Comelec has not publicly released any resolution on this matter.  continued >>>

State subsidy for Philippine political parties?
May 16, 2011
There is a pending bill in Congress on political party strengthening that is up for approval just before Congress goes on recess in June. Introduced by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, et al, the proposed bill (a substitute bill to HB nos. 49 and 403), seeks to introduce reforms in party membership, platform, and vision. It emphasizes the importance of membership contributions in the operations of a party, and to allow only the dues-paying members to elect the party's candidates for elections. The substitute bill also seeks to limit campaign contributions to only P1million for natural persons, and P10million for juridical entities. It also seeks to prevent party members to switch parties sixty days prior to election day.  continued >>>

People's initiative vote held in Quezon City
May 16, 2011
A pioneering political exercise was held on May 14, 2011 at the Pura V. Kalaw Elementary School in Project 4 Quezon City last Saturday, May 14, 2011. This is a precedent-setting process of ratifying a village regulation petitioned under the system of people's initiative.  continued >>>

Lucena City Election Protest
May 16, 2011
One of the election protest cases brought to the Comelec was for the mayoral race in Lucena City, Quezon. Constituents were reported to have been appealing for the poll body to decide on the legality of the administration of former mayor Ramon Talaga’s wife, Mayor Barbara Talaga. After she was proclaimed winner of the May 2010 polls, her rival candidate Philip Castillo and Vice Mayor Roderick Alcala claimed that the proclamation of Mayor Talaga was invalid due to irregularities.  continued >>>

Election watchdogs call for rejection of Smartmatic's PCOS machines
May 9, 2011
The Automated Election System (AES) Watch strongly urged not to re-use the Smartmatic -TIM provided PCOS technology in the forthcoming Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in future elections because of the technology’s non-compliance with legal requirements, lack of safeguards, unresolved issues and technological difficulties it had brought in and after the May 10, 2010 national and local elections. The AESWatch, of which Namfrel is a member, is composed of 40 non-partisan and independent election monitoring and civil society organizations and the academe. continued >>>

SC nixes group’s petition to cite Comelec in contempt
May 9, 2011
The Supreme Court has affirmed the right of the Comelec to impose security measures in allowing third-party groups to conduct an independent review of the source code used in the automation election system (AES) provided by Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. during the country’s first-ever nationwide computerized balloting in 2010.  continued >>>

Update on COMELEC manual reviews
May 9, 2011
After the first automated elections in May 2010, the Commission on Elections has received election protest cases filed since last year and towards the end of March this year, and has started to conduct manual reviews of the ballots from precincts that were predetermined by protesting candidates. Revision committees were formed to physically review and appreciate the ballots presented for the recount. These committees were headed by Comelec lawyers, and participated in by lawyers and watchers representing the parties concerned. Following are some cases that Comelec has acted on and their status as of last week.  continued >>>

Comelec resumes voter registration
May 3, 2011
Registration of voters for the midterm elections in 2013 starts May 2, 2011 and ends on Oct. 31, 2012. Qualified to enroll is any Filipino citizen, who is at least 18 years of age, a resident of the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place where he intends to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they would use biometrics technology or having an automated photograph, fingerprints and signature-taking system.  continued >>>

ARMM elections still in limbo despite preparations
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
May 3, 2011

Recent developments in past weeks have bolstered the likelihood of the ARMM elections being held as scheduled on August 8, 2011. The first, being the momentary slowdown of legislative action to pass a law to postpone and synchronize the ARMM elections; the second, is the preparations being made by the Comelec to conduct the ARMM elections even as there has been an impasse in the Senate on the decision to hold the regional polls as scheduled as House Bill (HB) no. HB 4146 and Senate Bill (SB) no. 2756 face stiff opposition in the Senate; the third, is the petition filed in the Supreme Court (SC) seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) on initiatives seeking the postponement of the regional polls. continued >>>

Special polls in Ilocos Sur set
May 3, 2011
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has set the special elections in the 1st District of Ilocos Sur to take place on May 28, 2011, after former Rep. Ronald Singson was convicted of prohibited drug possession in Hong Kong and started serving his sentence of 18 months imprisonment. COMELEC promulgated Resolution no. 9169 on April 01, 2011, setting the Calendar of Activities and certain Prohibited Acts for the Special Election. April 28, 2011 marked the start of the election period until June 07, 2011, and from May 09 to 13, candidates may file their COCs.   continued >>>

Augusto Lagman is new Comelec Commissioner
May 3, 2011
President Aquino appointed veteran IT expert Augusto C. Lagman as the sixth Comelec commissioner. The appointment was announced by deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte in Malacañang on April 27. "He is a known expert in the field of IT and he has been very involved in the automated elections.    continued >>>

NAMFREL Statement on the appointment of Augusto Lagman as Comelec Commissioner
27 April 2011
Press Statement

NAMFREL welcomes the appointment of veteran IT expert Augusto C. Lagman as Commissioner of the Commission on Elections.  Mr. Lagman has been a tireless advocate of clean and honest elections, as well as transparency in procurement and governance.    continued >>>

HRET conducts Biliran recount proceedings
May 3, 2011
The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal started on April 27 the recount proceedings for the congressional race in the lone district of Biliran (it finished the following day). In the May 2010 election, former governor Roger Espina won by only 360 votes over his opponent, former Rep. Glenn Chong.   continued >>>

HRET denies NAMFREL request to observe Biliran recount

On April 27, 2011, the Tribunal received a Letter from Eric Jude O. Alvia, Secretary General of the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), stating that they have learned that the Tribunal will be conducting on April 27, 2011 the manual process of recounting the contested ballots for the mayoralty position involved in the instant case, and thus, would be requesting that their representatives be allowed to observe and document the Tribunal's conduct of the recount for the purpose assisting the Tribunal in ensuring that the process will be transparent, credible and acceptable to the parties concerned.    continued >>>

CAC report recommends not to purchase Smartmatic's AES
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
April 15, 2011

Last week, AESWatch members were provided a copy by the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Electoral Reform & the AES (JCOC) of a previously inaccessible Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) post-election report on the Use of the Automated Election System (AES) in the 2010 National and Local Elections.   continued >>>

NAMFREL holds training on government procurement monitoring
April 15, 2011
As part of its involvement in advocating good governance, NAMFREL facilitated a training on GPRA 9184, or the Procurement Law, on April 8-9, 2011 at the New Horizon Hotel, Mandaluyong City. 
continued >>>

New Comelec commissioner appointed
April 5, 2011
President Aquino has appointed Atty. Christian Robert Lim as new Comelec commissioner, taking the post left by Gregorio Larrazabal who retired from the election commission in February.    continued >>>

Commissioner Brillantes reappointed as Comelec Chairperson
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
April 5, 2011

President Aquino has reappointed Comelec Chairperson Sixto Brillantes after Congress went on recess on March 25. The ad interim appointment of Brillantes, who was named on Jan. 15, 2011 in an acting capacity while Congress was in recess and the Committee on   continued >>>

Volunteerism in the Philippines
April 5, 2011
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO-Bahaginan) held its first Volunteering Expo on March 29, 2011, which showcased best practices and successful programs that shaped the volunteer sector in the country.  continued >>>

Bill postponing ARMM election approved by House; faces opposition in the Senate
March 28, 2011
Just before it went into recess this week, the House of Representatives on March 22 approved on third reading House Bill no. 4146, postponing the election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)   continued >>>

NAMFREL engages the DepEd, DILG & the DOH for the 2012 National Budget Preparation consultations
by Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General March 28, 2011
The fresh mandate of the Aquino government presents opportunities for civil society organizations (CSO) and citizens groups to set its social accountability agenda and help revitalize the advocacy for good governance  continued >>>

Medicine monitoring update
by Edgar E. Camenting, NAMFREL Project Coordinator March 28, 2011
Under the implementation of NAMFREL and the Department of Health's (DOH) Medicine Monitoring Project 2, NAMFREL monitored a total of Php 1.3 billion pesos worth of the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC)  continued >>>

ANFREL calls for end to harassment of Bangladesh human rights organization
March 28, 2011
In a letter to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) calls attention to the harassment of members of Odhikar – an organization in Bangladesh composed of  continued >>>

Filipino I.T. community pickets Comelec against Smartmatic PCOS machines
March 19, 2011
Leaders of the Filipino I.T. community, comprising the AESWatch (Automated Election System Watch) Coalition, picketed in front of the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros, Manila on March 17, to protest the Comelec's  continued >>>

COMELEC Advisory Council's Post-Election Report on the Use of the Automated Election System (AES) in the 2010 National and Local Elections
Executive Summary
The automation of the May 2010 national and local elections was a very significant event that changed the face of Philippine politics. It was an incredibly ambitious project for the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), which had a small information technology (IT) department and did not even have a high level chief information officer (CIO). With over 50 million registered voters, 76,347 clustered precincts, and eleven simultaneous election races with up to 300 candidates per ballot, the Philippines did not seem to be ideal candidate for automation elections.  continued >>>

Letter to President Aquino regarding Civil Society Organization's nominations to the COMELEC posts

January 5, 2011

HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Manila

Dear President Aquino,
Greetings of Peace!
The vacancies in February this year in the chairmanship and for two commissioners represent a timely opportunity to rebuild the Commission on Elections. Committed towards helping in the realization of this worthy legacy, we, the undersigned, and the organizations 1 we represent, would like to suggest that, given the wide public interest in the future of the Comelec and of automation, an open and transparent selection and appointment process be conducted with full disclosure of the criteria, nominator(s) and credentials of the nominees. 

In this regard, we have taken the liberty of conducting a search process and are providing for the President's consideration a shortlist of names of men and women that we believe exceptionally fit the criteria of independence, competence and integrity - qualities that all Comelec commissioners should possess.  continued >>>

NAMFREL statement on the first anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre

November 22, 2010

NAMFREL joins the victims' families, the Filipino nation as well as human rights and press freedom advocates throughout the world in calling for the swift resolution of the Ampatuan, Maguindanao murders. Twelve months after the most inhumane election related killings in recent memory, the 58 victims, their families and supporters, have yet to receive justice that Philippine laws supposedly assure. Instead, what we see are delays in the trial; inability to swiftly round up all suspects, both those directly linked to the massacre and their accomplices; the continuous rule of warlords and their kin in their respective areas; the continuous display of wealth and power as their people languish in poverty; the continued silencing of journalists; private armies not just in Mindanao but throughout the country not yet dismantled; the climate of fear that has not subsided; and the culture of impunity that sees no end.  continued >>>


Mongolian Electoral Observers Seminar and Study Tour in PHL

November 6, 2010

On November 8 to 11, 2010 a delegation from Mongolia will visit the Philippines for an Electoral Seminar and Study Tour to be conducted by NAMFREL with the support of the Open Society Forum. The aim of the study tour is to provide opportunities for Mongolia’s key stakeholders to learn from the Philippines
experience in ensuring the integrity of democratic elections and electoral process.  continued >>>


The Voters Education Program
Barangay Voters’ Education Program

September 24, 2010

The Center for Empowerment of Communities (CEC) of Quezon City District 2 invited Namfrel through Atty. Moses Florendo (Namfrel District 2 Chairman) to conduct a 2-day Voters Education Program (VEP) in two barangays; Novaliches proper and North Fairview in Quezon City last September 4 and 5. The CEC is a non- stock, non-profit, non-government organization, which aims to promote and strengthen people empowerment through the active participation of marginalized individuals and communities in institutions and processes which directly affect them.  continued >>>

Afghanistan Parliamentary Elections (Wolesi Jirga) 2010

ANFREL STATEMENT No. 1

September 9, 2010

Following the assessment mission in mid-July to Afghanistan for the deployment of international observers, the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) is deploying 22 observers to undertake observation functions, research work and capacity building training for citizen observer groups in the country. The 22 observers will be in Central, North and North-East regions of Afghanistan until the end of September, 2010.  continued >>>

DepEd Procurement and DOH Medicine monitoring update

December 22, 2010

On December 22, 2010, Namfrel observed the Department of Education (DepEd) bid opening of Printing from Camera ready materials and Delivery of Various Preschool Instructional Materials.  continued >>>


NAMFREL Signs Grant Agreement with the Partnership for Transparency Fund

September 6, 2010 

NAMFREL Signs Grant Agreement with the Partnership for Transparency Fund Manila, Philippines (NAMFREL) September 6, 2010
On September 6, the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) signed a grant agreement with the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) for the second phase of a project aimed at monitoring the procurement, delivery and stocking of essential drugs and medicines. The project, entitled Medicine Monitoring II, will build on the experience gained through the first project phase in reducing corruption in a vital area of public service. NAMFREL will continue to work with the Department of Health and deploy volunteers at critical stages in the cycle from procurement to management of stocks of drugs and medicines. continued >>>

NAMFREL participates in international videoconference on automated elections
The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections participated today (June 30, 2010) in a videoconference on "Observing Electronic Voting Technologies: Methodology and Its Challenges," organized by the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The videoconference was participated in by about 40 Indonesian civil society organizations, with resource persons in Jakarta, Washington, D.C., and Manila. continued >>> 


ASIAN Election Monitoring Organizations question unfair practices in the Burma Electoral process

August 31, 2010

In barely two months time elections will be held in Burma generating significant attention worldwide. The Union Election Commission (UEC) has announced on 13th August that the “multiparty elections in Burma will be held on November 7, 2010.” There have been a number of developments in the days preceding the announcement of the Election date, which deserves serious attention from all democracy supporting citizens of the world.  continued >>>

DOH and NAMFREL renew commitment to transparency through the Medicine Monitoring Project

August 9, 2010

The Department of Health, through Honorable Secretary Enrique T. Ona, and NAMFREL, through its National Chairperson Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., signed today, August 9, 2010, a Memorandum of Agreement renewing their collaboration on the Medicine Monitoring Project (MMP). This is in line with the DOH's commitment to directly engage civil society organizations in upholding transparency in the procurement, delivery, and inventory of pharmaceutical products, supplies, equipment and infrastructure projects of the Department. continued >>>

NAMFREL Executive Summary
Terminal Report

July 2, 2010

Overview
Nothwithstanding the results of the May 2010 elections with respect to the National Elections, NAMFREL believes that the automated election system employed by the Commission on Elections and provided by Smartmatic is in serious need of review and remedial measures before it is to be used for future elections. While the system counted ballots with considerable speed, it nonetheless lacked sufficient methods for tracing and auditing the entire processes which would have been necessary had any problems arisen which were material to the results of the counting or the canvassing. As it is, while national results were believed to be credible, in part because they matched both pre-election surveys and exit polls, not all of the local electoral results could be relied upon to the same extent. continued >>>

Speech of Mr. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., NAMFREL National Chairperson

NAMFREL Appreciation Dinner, June 18, 2010

Ayala Museum, Makati City

Distinguished partners, members of the National Council, chapter chairmen, friends in media, a
warm welcome to you. Good evening and welcome to all of our NAMFREL volunteers, supporters, donors
and staff.

It is a wonderful time of optimism for the Philippines. The elections have given rise to a growing
sense of enthusiasm about the impending change in administration and the hopes for a new generation
of governance in the country. And while the inauguration is still some days away, people cannot seem to
contain the excitement over this historic event and the promise of what lies ahead for us. continued >>>

Input to the House of Representatives' Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms chaired by the Honorable Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on the hearings on the Automated Election System (AES) used on May 10, 2010

May 28, 2010

Mr. Chairman and Members of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, thank you for allowing NAMFREL to contribute to the post-election discussion on the Automated Election System.
At the outset, let me say for the record that NAMFREL has supported calls for the automation of the counting and canvassing of the elections dating back to the Comelec's original MODEX Program in 1993 introduced by then-Chairman Christian Monsod. It was as that time that different technologies for counting and canvassing votes were first introduced. The legislation for that program was filed in Congress shortly after and the resulting Republic Act 8436 was passed in December 1997. continued >>>

Statement on 2010 Elections

The 2010 Elections was a celebration of democracy by our people. The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections commends all those who played a role in the administration and conduct of the May 10, 2010 elections, most especially the teachers who served as Boards of Election Inspectors and the voters who endured difficulties and inconveniences but nonetheless accepted the new automated system. The most dramatic improvement in the elections was in the counting and tabulating of votes, which occurred at unprecedented speeds for Philippine elections. Early tabulations were available within hours of the polls' closing and significant numbers were reported by midnight of election day. continued >>>

NAMFREL Urges COMELEC to Finish Count

May 19, 2010

The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) expresses its concern over the slowdown of the vote count and urges the COMELEC to complete the count. The count has been at a virtual standstill at slightly over 90% of the Election Returns tabulated by COMELEC and PPCRV servers, up marginally from 89% last Wednesday, May 12. The remaining Election Returns represent 7,500 PCOS machines and an estimated 4.9 million votes. The 7,500 PCOS machines have not transmitted results or have bogged down in its operations. continued >>>

NAMFREL Observations on the May 10, 2010 Elections

May 14, 2010

The 2010 Elections was a celebration of democracy by our people. By their patience and exuberance in a new process, and by the doggedness and resourcefulness of the teachers and the commitment of the COMELEC to make it work, elections did work. The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections commends all those who played a role in the administration an conduct of the May 10, 2010 elections, most especially the teachers who served as Boards of Election Inspectors and the voters who endured difficulties and inconveniences but nonetheless accepted and the new automated system. On the whole, the new process of voting in an automated election system worked better than most people's expectations. continued >>>

Ensuring Fair Elections on May 10

The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections believes that national elections must be held on May 10, 2010 under an automated election system that contains the proper safeguards and is backed up by sufficient manual systems which can be used where there are instances of a breakdown or failure of the automated system. When we go the polls on May 10th to elect our new leaders who will assume office on July 1 to lead our Nation forward, we expect nothing less than clean, honest, fair, and credible elections. Our future depends on it. continued >>>

Join NAMFREL BILANG NG BAYAN and help verify the results
If there is no parallel manual count, who will shine a light upon the results of the elections? Join NAMFREL BILANG NG BAYAN and help verify the results. Elections are less than a week away and Comelec has ruled out a parallel manual count which allows voters to check if the PCOS machines are counting correctly. But Comelec will be posting the results of the voting at the precinct level after voting ends, and these returns will be transmitted to canvassing centers. These results will be updated on the Comelec website periodically, but there will be no other tally to confirm these numbers. continued >>>

NAMFREL to conduct BILANG NG BAYAN

May 5, 2010

The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) announced today that it will be conducting its independent Bilang ng Bayan operations for the May 10 election results. The Bilang ng Bayan will be based on copies of the Election Returns which will be printed by the COMELEC's PCOS machines. Each PCOS machine will be printing 30 copies of the Election Returns at each voting precinct. The first eight copies of the Election Returns will be distributed to various COMELEC Boards of Canvassers, political parties, and accredited citizens arm. The rest of the copies will be made available to the public as well as to local political parties and local or regional media organizations. continued >>>

NAMFREL: All PCOS Machines Must Be Re-tested and Certified Error-free

May 5, 2010

In light of numerous problems which arose when PCOS machines were tested at voting centers and Smartmatic's subsequent recall of the compact flash (CF) memory cards for all PCOS machines, the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) re-emphasizes the need for stronger validation measures of the accuracy of the PCOS machines through more rigorous testing of the newly-configured CF cards, an expanded Random Manual Audit (RMA), and a parallel manual run. continued >>>

NAMFREL warns that public will not know how PCOS machines count their votes

April 28, 2010

The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections stated today that voters will not know for sure if the PCOS machines used in the COMELEC's Automated Election System will count their votes correctly because the machines will not issue a receipt indicating a person's vote nor display on the machines' screen how that voter voted. All the machine will indicate is a "congratulatory" message to the voter that his or her ballot has been accepted by the machine. The PCOS machines will not be indicating if any of a person's votes are valid or not. continued >>>

NAMFREL: Abra Remains a Hot Spot

April 28, 2010

NAMFREL keeps track of violence-prone areas in every election that it observes since 1983. It studies their causes or what triggers the violence in each election. Too often these provinces remain the same problem areas in every election. There are a number of factors that cause election-related violence. "Political-dynasties" are a fact of Philippine political life. Elections particularly the local elections become the battleground for long standing and too often bitter rivalries among feuding families. The campaign heats up to such intensity that violence is committed by the followers of the competing families. continued >>>

COMELEC should disclose AES spending to the public

April 22, 2010

The National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) calls on the COMELEC to exercise transparency and accountability by fully disclosing the funds it has thus far spent for the 2010 elections. The budget for the 2010 elections has been set at at least P16.5 billion - P11.3 billion for the Automated Election System (under RA 9525 "An Act Appropriating the Sum of P11,301,790,000.00 As Supplemental Appropriations for an Automated Election System and Other Expenses" signed into law on March 23, 2009) plus the P5.21 billion appropriation for the "Automated National and Local Elections" under RA 9970, The General Appropriations Act of 2010. continued >>>

COMELEC urged to hold Random Manual Audit to ensure fairness of 2010 elections

April 22, 2010

NAMFREL maintains that a parallel random manual audit (RMA) of election returns is necessary to establish the credibility and transparency of the 2010 elections. As such, the electoral watchdog group urges the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to take all necessary steps to ensure that the RMA is implemented, including the preparation of General Instructions (GI) for the conduct of such audit. continued >>>
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NAMFREL supports call of I.T. professionals for parallel run

April 22, 2010

The National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) supports calls by Philippine information technology professionals for a manual parallel run of all ballots, counting only three positions of President, Vice President, and one local government official (e.g., Mayor), as a means of cross-checking and validating the accuracy of the PCOS machines. This parallel run is not meant to replace the Automated Election System and the PCOS machines but rather to crosscheck that automated and manual counts are the same. continued >>>

Number of registered voters increased by 12.7% from last election;
in ARMM 42%

April 6, 2010

The National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) reported today that the number of registered voters reported by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) increased by 12.65% from the 45.03 million registered in the 2007 elections to the 50.74 million registered for the May 2010 elections. There were 43.44 million voters registered in the 2004 elections, giving the 2007 elections a 3.43% increase over 2004. continued >>>

Many safeguard provisions of election automation law
are disabled or delayed

April 6, 2010

The National Citizens Movement for Free Elections or NAMFREL has once again expressed its concern over the disablement or delay of certain safeguard provisions which were originally written into the election automation law. continued >>>

The CVL is one of the weak links in the 2010 elections

April 6, 2010

The reliability of voters' lists is a persistent problem in past elections. NAMFREL has long advocated the need for a clean, accurate complete, and current Certified Voters List, (CVL) because a reliable CVL is the "guardian" of the "one person, one vote" election principle. A clean CVL has no duplicate names or multiple registrants or ineligible persons on the list such as minors and deceased persons. NAMFREL has also advocated that such a list should be made public and accessible to all voters and interested parties. continued >>>

NAMFREL advises voters to look for names on certified voters' lists and to locate their precincts

April 6, 2010

With just a little over 30 days left before elections on May 10, NAMFREL Chairman Jose L. Cuisia advises all voters to check their names in the COMELEC's Certified Voters Lists (CVL) to get beforehand the exact location of their voting precincts. continued >>>

Bantay ng Bayan: You are needed now more than ever

Bantay ng Bayan. This has always been the mission of NAMFREL. Even without COMELEC accreditation, this continues to be our mission for the May 10 elections. continued >>>

How sure are you that your vote will be counted
in the automated count?

March 25, 2010
46 days before Election Day
How sure are you that your vote will be counted in the automated count? With the automation of the May 2010 elections, the days of the yellow metal ballot boxes that used to be protected by concerned citizens are history. continued >>>

An election we can believe in
18 March 2010

We admire the COMELEC for its courage and determination in anticipating total success of the automated elections in May 2010. Indications however show that it is dangerous and reckless for the COMELEC to assume it can achieve 100% automated elections throughout the country, because many factors impinge on the automation process: eg power, telecommunications, transportation, reliability of outsourced or contracted services, etc. continued >>>

NAMFREL expresses concern with country’s readiness
for automated elections
March 12, 2010

With less than 60 days to go before more than 50 million Filipinos go to the polls the National
Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) has expressed growing concerns about the
country’s preparedness for its first ever automated elections.

It also questions whether or not the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will meet its deadline to
ensure the success of the elections. continued >>>
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The Bantay ng Bayan Role of NAMFREL and CBCP-NASSA
in the May 2010 Elections
Rendering of regular report to the people of observations, findings, and
recommendations on critical aspects of the election process as well as on the
performance of its key players; there shall be pre-election, election day, and
postelection reports
Returns to the original role it performed in 1983 when it was first engaged in the
Philippine election process continued >>>

NAMFREL Statement
February 18, 2010

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, allow me first to express my appreciation for your continued faith and support for the cause of free, fair, and credible elections through NAMFREL.


You may have read the NAMFREL statement published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on February 10 and in the Philippine Star on February 11.

 

As we said in the statement, NAMFREL volunteers affirm its role and importance to be a real CITIZENS' watchdog. Our contributions to the conduct of free, fair, and credible elections, in the Philippines as well as many parts of the world, have earned us respect from past administrations, and trust from the people. Whether the Melo Comelec accredits us or not, the NAMFREL spirit is alive in all of us, and Filipinos expect us to play a significant role in ensuring that the May 2010 elections will be free fair, and
credible.  continued >>>


You Cannot Kill the Namfrel Spirit

You can deny us, but you can't make us go away.
For as long as the people seek truly free and fair elections, the light of NAMFREL shall burn brightly.

Last week, the COMELEC unanimously decided to deny NAMFREL, in partnership with the CBCP-NASSA, accreditation for the May 10, 2010 elections. This means that NAMFREL/CBCP-NASSA will not be entitled to its own copy of the election returns normally used for a parallel count, nor will it be able to officially observe the random manual precinct audit to validate the electronic results.
The May 10 elections will be the first automated polls in the country's history. But up to now, the capabilities of the new system have not been fully established. People are understandably nervous that many things could go wrong or that it would simply facilitate wholesale cheating. continued >>>
.

NDI's 25th anniversary film acknowledges NAMFREL (narrated by Christiane Amanpour) 

 Watch the film HERE


Volunteers affirm their commitment to free and fair elections
and to NAMFREL

NAMFREL-CBCP-NASSA’s first Regional Assembly for the 2010 elections was held on February 1 and 2 at Lancaster Hotel in Mandaluyong City, attended by volunteers from NCR, Southern Tagalog, and Bicol. Participants were briefed on the automated election, its strengths and weaknesses. The Comelec was present to make a PCOS demonstration. continued >>>

Namfrel's Position Paper on Early Voting
January 25, 2010
Position paper on Senate Bill No. 2972
authored by Senator Richard Gordon
“An Act Allowing Early Voting in National Elections, Amending for this Purpose Batas Pambansa Blg. 881,
Otherwise Known as the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines”
by the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel)
25 January 2010
continued >>>

Namfrel CBCP-NASSA Petition for Accreditation
December 16, 2009
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR ACCREDITATION AS CITIZENS’ ARM OF THE COMELEC TO ASSIST IN THE CONDUCT OF THE ELECTIONS ON MAY 10, 2010.

NATIONAL CITIZENS’ MOVEMENT FOR FREE ELECTIONS (NAMFREL) AND CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES NATIONAL SECRETARIAT FOR SOCIAL ACTION - JUSTICE AND PEACE (CBCP-NASSA), continued >>>

PLDT-SMART Foundation donates to Namfrel
December 4, 2009

PLDT-SMART Foundation President Butch S. Meily hands over a donation to NAMFREL Vice Chairman Sen. Vicente T. Paterno on December 4, 2009, witnessed by continued >>>  


Namfrel Briefings

Namfrel at the University of Sto. Tomas, St. Scholastica's College, Jose Rizal University, San Beda College, Entrepreneurs School of Asia, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, La Consolacion College, UP Los Baños,
La Concordia College and Baliuag University continued >>>  


Namfrel at AKAP-Pinoy Forum

On 28 November 2009, Ms. Corazon H. Ignacio, head of NAMFREL’s Project Committee, spoke on the topic “Making Our Vote Count” at the National Disability Forum of AKAP Pinoy. continued >>>


NAMFREL Statement on the spate of recent politically motivated violence & Maguindanao massacre

November 25, 2009

The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) strongly condemns the brutal politically-motivated killings in Maguindanao of political supporters and journalists.

We call upon President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to take a firm and decisive action immediately to go after the perpetrators of this heinous crime, and for the government to consider this and other recent tragedies involving elected officials and election staff not mere election-related violence but criminal acts that need to be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.  continued >>>


Namfrel Vice Chair Vicente Paterno at the Evangelical Leaders’ Forum

Namfrel Vice Chair Vicente Paterno briefs officers of the Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches, Philippine Ministerial Fellowship Network, and World Vision Philippines, on the 2010 automated elections and Namfrel’s role. (October 29, 2009) continued >>>  


NAMFREL chair's statement on impartiality
October 13, 2009

“After the proclamation of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of the different parties such as the Liberal Party and the Lakas-Kampi, I have decided to remain neutral in the light of the ongoing discussions on
the Reproductive Health Bill which some of the candidates  continued >>>


NAMFREL selects new officers
October 7, 2009

At its meeting of 02 October 2009, the NAMFREL National Council elected Mr. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. as the organization's new National Chairperson. Former senator Vicente T. Paterno was elected as National Vice Chairperson. continued >>>


NAMFREL prepares for new leadership
September 27, 2009

The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) is continuing
its preparations for the 2010 elections notwithstanding the departure of its present national chairperson.
continued >>>


NAMFREL upholds policy on non-partisanship
September 26, 2009

At its meeting of 22 September 2009 the NAMFREL National Council considered resignations individually submitted from four of its members who will actively support various candidates of their choice in the 2010 elections. The said members were Ambassador Narcisa Escaler, and Messrs. Ramon R. del Rosario, Edward Go, and Alberto Lim. continued >>>


This has reference to the news item that "MARCOS URGES ABOLITION OF NAMFREL" -
August 25, 2009

In said item Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos,
Jr. was quoted as having said: “The country was deeply divided because of allegations of fraud during the 2004 and 2007 elections and Namfrel has done nothing about it. I think it’s about time we abolish Namfrel.” continued>>>


Kobe University Professors
August 24, 2009

Delegates from Japan composed of Kobe University professors who conducted a study on Philippine elections, met with the chairpersons of Namfrel to know more about the history and legacy continued>>>


NAMFREL participates in observing the 2009 Afghanistan presidential election

NAMFREL officers observed the August 20, 2009 presidential election in Afghanistan as members of the international observer team of Bangkok-based Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), currently headed by NAMFREL council member and former NCR chairperson Mr. Damaso Magbual.  continued >>>


Cory Aquino's wake
August 2009

Namfrel officers and volunteers at the wake of former President Cory Aquino at the La Salle Greenhills gym
view photos >>>


TALAKAYAN SA PLAZA MIRANDA

Ang Mamamayang Pilipino – Alisto!”

July 16, 2009
Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila

continued >>>


Namfrel holds registration drive at the university belt (02-27-09)

Registration drive for first time voters last February 27, 2009, 10:00 a.m. at the San Beda College, Mendiola, Manila. continued >>>


The 2008 Namfrel National Assembly

Namfrel in the third Millennium. Its role in the 2010 elections.  continued >>>

 
   
 
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