From Carlo N. of Pasig City:
Please see the attached pictures that I was able to take of a flyer distributed to Senior Citizens when they attended a training on the Automated Elections conducted by COMELEC Pasig in Baranggay Dela Paz yesterday. My grandmother attended the training and it was she who gave me this flyer.
If we examine Page 2 and the Zoomed In versions, we can see a glimpse of a possible bias. The first troubling sign is that the sample ballot contains only 3 Presidentiables: JC Delos Reyes, Nicanor Perla and Manny Villar. The second and perhaps more glaring possible indication of a problem is that Manny Villar’s name is bold and gigantic compared to the other 2 names. According to my grandmother, there is a poster-sized version of the pamphlet that was used during the training and the poster showed the same illustration where Manny Villar’s name more than necessarily figures prominently. One of the participating senior citizens, a neighbor of ours, then raised this matter and she asked why Villar is the only name in giant, bold face to the cheering applause of the crowd. The instructors who introduced themselves as from COMELEC merely laughed and said something along the lines of “Wala namang pulitika-pulitika po rito.”
We are not sure how widespread this is going on because the seal on Page 2 shows the Seal of the City of Pasig. So we are uncertain if the materials used in other places are similar to this one. I’m not sure if they should have just used a list with hypothetical names such as “Juan Dela Cruz” to avoid bias.
The event was held at around 10AM in the Covered Courts of the Dreamhomes Subdivision in Baranggay Dela Paz, Pasig City. It was organized by the Senior Citizens’ organization whose local chapter president is Pedro Mendoza. There were many participants which is probably why a large venue was chosen. My grandmother and all of her elderly friends from the neighborhood comprised of Bartville Subdivision, Dreamhomes Subdivision and neighboring developments were all in attendance. When the Senior Citizens arrived in the venue, the Election Speakers were not yet present. The meeting organizers from the Senior Citizens’ Organization discussed a number of unrelated items in their agenda. My grandmother reported that they ran through the agenda quickly so that they would finish in time for the arrival of the Automated Election Trainers. When the trainers arrived, the Senior Citizen organizers said, “Ito na ang mga taga-Comelec.” There were 2 trainers, both men. One was elderly while the other, not so. They were aided by assistants who set up the props and distributed materials. The flyers were distributed before the speakers began. Aside from the flyers, there was a large flipchart that was a larger version of the flyers. When the training reached the point where the name of Manny Villar beside 2 smaller names was shown, one of the participants, Soledad Reyes, raised the question, “Bakit si Manny Villar ang nakasulat dyan?” Then another participant whom my grandmother does not remember anymore said, “Marami naman kayong puedeng gamiting pangalan. Puedeng Juan Dela Cruz. Paano kung may Senior Citizen na mahina na ang pag-iisip at ginaya lang ang ginawa nyo (pagpili kay Manny Villar)?” The trainers responded, “Kami naman po eh hindi namumulitika dito.“