COMELEC union welcomes Lagman appointment

NEWS RELEASE

Reference:        Mac Ramirez, Vice-President for Internal Affairs

Contact:            aces.comelec@gmail.com

Date:                April 27, 2011

COMELEC union welcomes Lagman appointment

Employees of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) under the Alliance of COMELEC Employees in Service (ACES) today welcomed the appointment of Mr. Augusto Lagman as Commissioner of the poll body.

“Though the ACES earlier hoped for an insider, Mr. Lagman’s appointment to the seven-member collegial body is certainly welcome news,” said Mac Ramirez, ACES Vice President for Internal Affairs.

Ramirez noted “Lagman’s wealth of knowledge in information technology – him being one of the leading IT-stalwarts in the country – will be of tremendous use for the poll body as it again gears in automating the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in August.”

“We hope, however, Lagman wouldn’t turn-tail on his advocacy for transparency and credibility of the automated elections in the country now that he is inside the agency he helped keep in check for several years already,” Ramirez said.

Lagman, Ramirez said, was among the top IT executives in the country who challenged the COMELEC’s contract with Mega Pacific eSolution Inc. for the computerization of the 2004 elections citing flaws in the bidding process.

Lagman also tirelessly pushed for transparency of the automated elections last year, as lead convenor of transparentelections.org.ph and of the Movement for Good Governance (MGG).

“We were plain lucky. The election results were generally credible … despite the Comelec! But it was a costly system — not only in terms of money (P7.2 billion), but also in terms of voting secrecy, which was sacrificed, and public counting, which was ignored,” Ramirez quoted part of Lagman’s assessment of the conduct of the May 10, 2010 elections, published in the MGG’s website (http://mggphilippines.com) May 15, 2010.

Don’t forget the rank and file

Ramirez meanwhile called on the newly appointed Commissioner to include in his crusade inside the poll body the welfare of more than six thousand COMELEC rank and file employees nationwide.

“The COMELEC rank and file is ready and willing to support Lagman in his fight for transparency in the poll body. We urge him to also join us in our fight for job security, better working conditions, decent wages and in our democratic right to organize and negotiate with management concerning our welfare,” Ramirez said. ###

Gus Lagman seated in the middle (Photo from MGG website)

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