Ramos compares automated polls to his hi-tech toilet

Ramos compares automated polls to his hi-tech toilet
By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Former President Fidel Ramos Tuesday compared the country’s first automated election system (AES) to the sophisticated toilet in his Makati City office.

In a news conference before his departure for a business trip to Nanjing, China, Ramos showed reporters pictures of the toilet at the Export Bank Plaza with auto-flush, auto-faucet and auto-light features.

“For any modern technology, there’s always a manual override,” said Ramos, just like the precinct count optical scan machines to be used in the May 10 electronic balloting.

“Though modern, you can always manually override, that’s why there’s a manual override command option,” he added, saying that this is like his office toilet that can be changed to manual mode if, for example, the power supply is cut off.

Asked if he thought the AES can also be manually overriden, he replied, “That’s correct. In this case, who has the control of the system?”

Ramos then turned his head toward the wall where a picture of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hung, to gales of laughter from the reporters and the crowd at the airport lounge.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.