The Philippine Onion

Lies and half-truths shall set you free

Abalos gave thumbs up to spurious contract before resigning

Posted by commiedyan on November 3, 2007

by hands up!

On the heels of the controversial appointment of Iligan judge Muselin Macarambon to a vacancy at the Commission on Elections, a new scandal is brewing over a contract resigned chair Benjamin Abalos allegedly signed with a Philippine biotechnology firm to minimize spurious voting.

Hardly had the ink on Macarambon’s appointment papers dried when whistleblowers at the Comelec started pointing fingers at Abalos and Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez over the $659M deal with Philippine Newt Technologies Inc. (PNT). I tried but failed to reach the other commissioners yesterday.

A copy of the contract was released by Jimenez after complaints of ‘flying voters’ started to pile up over the recent barangay or village elections, where voters complained that neighbors were able to vote more than once. Others complained of dead people voting. But Jimenez explained that the old technology employed, swabbing indelible ink on a voter’s nail to prevent her/him from voting more than once, just didn’t work. “The cheats always found a more potent solvent to wash the mark off,” he said. Further, law-abiding voters also complained that the method was unhygienic and more importantly, destroyed expensive manicures, he said.

The PNT system is much simpler, Jimenez said. Right after a voter slips a ballot into the box, his right forefinger is cut off with a knife and the wound cannot escape notice in another voting precinct, he said. Because of the injectible protein invented and produced by PNT, the finger would regenerate before the next election. Also, Jimenez said, the cut portions would also serve to validate results in recounts requested by losing candidates.

The bone of contention, according to one of the whistleblowers, however, was that there was no guarantee that the fingers would grow back in time. She said she was party to clinical trials which showed that about 1 in 20, as a rule of thumb, did not grow back the appendage after two weeks.

As of press time, Mr. Harry Tu Co, CEO of PNT had explained to us that election inspectors could be relied upon to distinguish a fresh wound from gangrene. He also dismissed as highly speculative fears that the wayward limbs would grow into their owners clones.

4 Responses to “Abalos gave thumbs up to spurious contract before resigning”

  1. Am all for this: “The PNT system is much simpler, Jimenez said. Right after a voter slips a ballot into the box, his right forefinger is cut off with a knife and the wound cannot escape notice in another voting precinct…”

    Let’s start with Gloria’s forefinger, eh?

  2. jimenez said

    Dear Mr. Commiedyan,

    It is unfortunate that yet another initiative to clean up elections is being shot down by losing bidders. The whistleblowers you refer to are actually in the employ of Starfish Systems – a multinational biotech company that offered similar technology. Unfortunately, unlike the technology promoted by PNT, the one offered by Starfish Systems had a grow-back rate (or GBR, pardon my jargon)only 12 hours – plenty of time for would-be flying voters to participate in special elections that may be called after election day proper.

    As if that weren’t bad enough, the Starfish Systems technology required the purchase – as a side contract – of the digital distal dephalangator. The DDD (again, pardon the jargon) costs about as much as mid-range digital camera. Contrast this against PNT’s system that only calls for the use of a knife – a solution that costs only about as much as an uninformed opinion – and you’re looking at net government savings!

    As you can see, the PNT offer was clearly superior to the offer of Starfish Systems, and therefore the award of the contract to PNT was patently justified.

    As to the clinical trials, I would like to make it of record that the D’OH!, the government agency with the credentials and the expertise for this kind of testing has certified that the GBR of PNT is industry standard. Although 1 in 20 sounds like a high number, take into consideration that that means 19 people out of 20 get their digits back! That’s a 95% GBR! Really, these so-called whistleblowers are nothing more than pessimistic agents of the losing bidder, Starfish Systems.

    I had hoped that the Philippine Onion would be more discerning in its decision to publish unfounded criticisms as these. I shall now, instead, be buying stock in that other online paper which has time and again proven itself to be a paragon of fairness: “The COMELEC Rocks!”

    Please accept assurances of my esteem. Well, kinda

  3. commiedyan said

    Hey James,

    TPO salutes your sense of humor and gameness man.

  4. jimenez said

    Hey commiedyan,anytime bro. 🙂

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