I am from San Fernando, Pampanga, and I am glad that soldiers from the Northern Luzon Command and other field units are assisting the police to maintain peace and order in today’s barangay (village) elections. Our barangay is among the 214 Central Luzon villages that have been classified as “hot spots.”
By Conrado de Quiros
First off, an appreciation for automated elections. A day after the elections, we already knew the winners, or at least the winning senators. That’s one sea change. Though it’s a testament to our capacity to factor things, good or bad, bane or boon, that we didn’t even seem to notice the difference.
In the past election season, the New People’s Army collected P26 million through extortion—a much lower amount than it expected (“NPA raised only P26M in poll campaign fees,” Page A10, 5/23/13). The military said the money came from candidates, groups and individuals in Metro Manila, Isabela, Masbate, Negros, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.
Why is Grace Poe number one? The SWS and Pulse Asia failed to capture this unexpected outcome of the May 2013 elections in their surveys? Why?
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Voting was uneventful where I voted last Monday. No election irregularities, no machine breaking down or jamming. It just took so long—a little past two hours—from the time I entered the barangay hall to the time the machine flashed the message that I had voted successfully. A drop of indelible ink applied on my finger was the last step in a process that should’ve taken just a little more than half an hour. If I were a senior citizen I would have finished in half the time, but I struggle, vainly, to keep from entering middle age. I endured a long, slowly moving line to get the ballot, a long piece of paper that reminded me of school and multiple-choice exams.