INTERNATIONAL ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION
Philippines National and Local Elections 2010
Manila, May 13, 2010
“PROGRESS ON THE LONG ROAD TO INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS”
The 10 May 2010 elections in the Philippines demonstrated notable progress in ensuring freedom of elections with a reasonably acceptable procedure yet significant room for attaining international commitments and standards.
The authorities made commendable efforts to administer this election in a noble and professional manner and generally displayed the collective political will to conduct democratic elections. The introduction of the automated election system in this context was successful in contributing to enhanced public confidence in the electoral process. Despite the intense heat, the serpentine queues and inevitable unfamiliarity with the automated machine, the Filipino people deserve praise for their active participation in the election.
However, the Election Day was also marred by incidences of violence and electoral fraud particularly in ARMM, though other parts of the country were not spared. Instances of vote buying, “flying voters”, violations of the gun ban by private armed groups, breaches of the campaign code of conduct, including the abuse of state resources for election campaigning were observed. Above all, discrepancies in the voter registration and the complete lack of ballot secrecy seriously undermined the sanctity of the elections.
The colossal task of changing from a fully manual to an automated system presented multiple challenges, including training, testing, operation and transmission. Training and testing were insufficient, machines malfunctioned and transmission of election results was unnecessarily stressful. Nevertheless, the automated system is a significant improvement in the counting and canvassing process, reducing the potential for post-election manipulation.
ANFREL encourages all stakeholders to respect the will of the voters and address the problems that are still prevalent in the electoral process. Furthermore, the incidences of political violence must be investigated thoroughly and the perpetrators brought to justice. We hope that this election produces a real avenue to strengthen democracy and safeguard human rights in the Philippines.
For Further Information please contact:
Ichal Supriadi, Ichal@anfrel.org, +63-9173642493 or
Ms. Somsri Hananuntasuk at firstname.lastname@example.org, +63-9064978155