'Deputize the Armed Forces for free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections'

'Deputize the Armed Forces for free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections'





Every election in a democratic country will always have a big stakes, soit is incumbent for the election body to conduct the elections to be clean, free, fair and credible elections.

Last 2016 general elections was considered to be rigged if we are to accept and believe all the assertions that was provided by the Bongbong Marcos camp with respect to his election protest against Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo.

Where it not for the sheer number and volume of the votes got by Rodrigo Duterte from the electorate, he too was also a victim f the systematic cheating purposely and intentionally done by some corrupt members of the commission on Elections (COMELEC) and Smartmatic the company that provided the election machines used last elections.

(photo credit to owner)


In order not to face the same scenario there are suggestions for Duterte to do, all of which is geared in making the next elections “clean and credible” which only voice out the true choices of the electorate.

Presidet Duterte should consider the idea of ordering the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)  to take over the conduct of national elections from the COMELEC, the same justification the President when he ordered the AFP to take over or partially take over the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The explicit constitutional provision is contained in are Art IX, C. Sec 2 (4). It reads, “The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: (4) deputize, with the concurrence of the president, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.”


The Manila Times veteran journalist gave an eloquent and beautiful explanation as to the military takeover of the COMELEC functions this coming elections, he says

This latest summons to reform is an absolute must. If we act, it could be a turning point for our democracy.
Armed Forces as means for election reform.

I believe we have today both the need and the opportunity to make effective and lasting reform of our election system.

We have quoted in full the said article titled Deputize the Armed Forces for free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections, by Mr. Yen Makabenta below.




Deputize the Armed Forces for free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections



First word

THE imminent move to reform or upgrade its election system by the world’s most advanced and preachy democracy, the United States of America, following its recent midterm elections will have repercussions on our shores, as sure as night follows day.
US action should be taken as a call to action by Filipino policymakers, who have helplessly watched as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic dialed back our national elections to the Stone Age during our last three ballotings.
If our political tutors and perennial scolds are moving to undertake repairs in their own house, we Filipinos should not stint in moving and implementing quickly availing reforms in our election system. We should do all that is necessary to bring our election system up to speed with most modern democracies.
We should do this quickly because we have national elections just around the corner in May 2019, when we will elect the 18th Congress, elect all members of the House of Representatives, elect 12 new members of the Senate, and elect all officials of our local governments at provincial, city and municipal levels.
This latest summons to reform is an absolute must. If we act, it could be a turning point for our democracy.

Armed Forces as means for election reform

I believe we have today both the need and the opportunity to make effective and lasting reform of our election system.
It is a way that will not be stymied by the self-serving schemes of senators and representatives.

It is a way that will effectively change our election system, uproot the dysfunction in the Comelec, and engage the full support of the Filipino people.
Essentially, I want to endorse here a proposal first made by my colleague, former senator Francisco S. Tatad, in his column of November 7, that President Duterte should seriously consider the idea of ordering the armed forces to take over the conduct of national elections from the Comelec, in the same way that he has moved towards the idea of a military takeover or partial military takeover of the Bureau of Customs.
Kit’s idea has since received the enthusiastic endorsement of many, most notably Rod Kapunan of the Manila Standard who wrote this weekend a fine column that fleshes out the argument for the deputization of the armed forces for the conduct of clean, free, fair and credible elections, in keeping with a provision explicitly written in the Constitution.
These pieces have led me to the overwhelming conviction that deputization of the armed forces is the quick remedy for our perennial grief over our elections. All that is needed is the right executive order by the President.
We can make this work if the leadership of the three branches of government — the legislative, the executive and the judicial — can agree to a scheme to deploy the armed forces, and law enforcement agencies, for the specific mission of conducting together with the Comelec the elections in May 2019, and perhaps the national elections thereafter.
Guidelines for the deputization and the work of the AFP and the Comelec can be specified in the executive order.
Deputization is not militarization

Deputization is not militarization, so we will have a ready response to the naysayers who will scream militarism or militarization in criticism of this scheme. But in fact, deputization of the armed forces for elections is in the Constitution.
The explicit constitutional provision is contained in are Art IX, C. Sec 2 (4). It reads, “The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: (4) deputize, with the concurrence of the president, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.”
Military’s ‘do this’ factor

The reason this will work is because of what the historian Barbara Tuchman calls the ”do this” factor in military tradition.
This is the factor that President Duterte extolled when he said that only the military veterans heading the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) could have executed the formidable challenge of rescuing and rehabilitating Boracay from its dismal state within six months.
Tuchman spoke of the “do this factor” in a much-praised and brilliant address before the US Army War College, which she titled “Generalship.”
Specifically, she spoke of the Six Day War of 1967 in the Middle East, which she called “the most nearly perfect, or at any rate the least snafued, professional military performance of our time.”
She said: “In that microcosm, caught for us within the visible limits of six days, the qualities of resolution and nerve, the ‘do this’ factor, the deployment of expert skills, and governing intelligence, ‘strong and fertile in devices,’ all meshed and functioned together like the oiled parts of an engine. I need not go into the circumstances that made this happen, of which the chief one perhaps was that no retreat or defeat was possible — either would have meant annihilation in that sliver of a country the size of the state of Massachusetts.”
Elsewhere she said: “High on the list of a general’s essentials is what I call the ‘do this factor.’ It is taken from the statement which Shakespeare put in the mouth of Mark Antony: ‘When Caesar says ‘Do this,’ it is performed’.”
“This quality of command rests not only on the general’s knowledge of tactics and terrain and resources and enemy deployment in a specific situation, but in the degree of faith that subordinates have in his knowledge.
If President Duterte, joined by the leaders of Congress and the Supreme Court places in a military veteran the mission of righting and reforming the conduct of national elections in 2019, I submit that “it will be done.”
US needs better election system

Rodney Blakeman wrote in the Fox News website on the US need for a better election system, following the Florida mess. He wrote:
“The Florida recount of votes Saturday to determine the winners of Tuesday’s midterm elections for the US Senate, governor, state agriculture commissioner and four seats in the state Legislature was reminiscent of the more limited presidential vote recount there in 2000.
I find it amazing that 18 years later voting problems still plague Florida and some other states as well. I hope that 18 years from now we are still not scratching our heads and trying to solve this problem — and I have an idea about what we need to do.
The solution is simpler than you might imagine. Instead of allowing each state to have its own standards for holding elections for federal office, it’s long past time we created national standards.
These standards wouldn’t be required for elections for state and local offices, but for all practical purposes they would very likely be adopted by all governmental jurisdictions in order to save money and simplify the election process.
Right now, states impose their own standards for voting and conducting elections for positions at all levels of government.
In an effort to create order out of chaos, it makes sense to have uniform standards in federal elections to ensure that all Americans are treated equally and fairly when exercising their most valued right as citizens.




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Report from Manila Times

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