Brillantes on the case to be filed before the UN

May 3, 2013 11:46 pm 

MANILA, May 3 — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes said civil society groups that are planning to file a complaint before the United Nations Committee on Human Rights are just forum shopping after the Supreme Court has earlier denied their case.

“Kasi hindi na sila manalo sa SC so kung saan saan na sila nagpupunta,” he said.

In June 2012, the High Court upheld the validity of the P1.8-billion contract with Smartmatic-TIM for the purchase of the 82,000 PCOS machines used in the 2010 elections by the Comelec.

The petitioners on the SC case were the Automated Election System (AES) Watch, the Solidarity for Sovereignty (S4S), and the group of Davao City Archbishop Fernando Capalla.

AES is led by former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. and S4S by Ma. Linda Montayre, Ramon Pedrosa, Benjamin Paulino Sr., Evelyn Coronel, and Nelson Montayre.

He added that these groups just want to create a publicity.

“Feeling ko lang gusto lang nila gumawa ng publicity. It’s a publicity stunt whoever they are,” Brillantes said.

Civil society groups led by the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Center for International Law (Centerlaw), Automated Election System (AES) Watch and former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr., are set to file a complaint on Friday against the Republic of the Philippines for violating their right to suffrage guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

In a Communication to be sent to the United Nations Human Rights Committee through the individual complaint mechanism established under the Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, the Filipino Authors alleged that their right to free expression of their will as electors have been violated by the Republic during the May 10, 2010 elections and continues to be violated in the conduct of the May 13, 2013 automated elections.

They based their claim on Article 25 of the ICCPR which provides that “Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions:

To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives; to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors; to have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country.

The group added that their right to free expression of their will as electors was violated by the Republic when it gave complete control of the technical aspects of the automated elections to a foreign entity, Smartmatic and by giving control of the public and private keys to all the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines to the same foreign entity, Smartmatic; and by having no review of the source codes used for the May 10, 2010. (PNA)

DSP/FGP/UTB

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