Today, 14 conveners and members of the Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch) petitioned the Supreme Court (SC) to issue a Writ of Habeas Data against Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. and six other commissioners of the Comelec.
The Writ petitioners, among them former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman and Comelec whistleblower Atty. Melchor Magdamo, asked the SC to compel the Comelec to cease and desist from placing AES Watch member-organizations under surveillance using a P30M intelligence fund. They also asked the high court to direct the respondents to disclose to the court and petitioners and, subsequently, to destroy whatever intelligence information had been intentionally gathered against AES Watch members and other election watchdogs.
Magdamo, former Comelec lawyer, exposed 2013 election scams and unconscionable expenses in the bidding of the unbundled items on warehousing, delivery, ballot printing, paper ballots, etc. In 2010, he successfully proved the multi-million overpricing of the secrecy folders used in the 2010 poll automation that caused the suspension of Comelec project director Jose Tolentino, Jr. Lagman, Comelec’s only IT commissioner, was not reappointed for being critical of the Smartmatic-provided poll automation. Continue reading