COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez told Sun.Star that the poll body is doing everything it can for the success of the first-ever automated elections.

This, as a recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that around 49 percent of Filipinos sense that people power will happen if the automated elections fail.

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The test statement of the October 24-27 survey stated: "If the 2010 elections fail for any reason, e.g., malfunctioning of counting machines, then people power will probably happen already."

Only 22 percent disagreed to the statement.

The survey also found out that 47 percent fear for the vulnerability of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to be used for the May polls.

Another 44 percent, meanwhile, said they trust the commission to ensure the poll machines will not be sabotaged.

According to Jimenez, the survey only showed how deep the desire of Filipinos is to push for change through automation.

"That is the reason why we are doing everything we can, even though some people are opposing and disagreeing with us, we continue to do our job for the automation," said Jimenez.

"We are assuring the public that we are doing everything we can to make sure the automation is a success and that we are very confident that on May, the Philippines will experience a fully automated national and local elections," added the Comelec official.

The SWS study also revealed how many Filipinos want automation to proceed and eventually succeed.

"A lot of them already feels how important this (automation) is and shows how angry they will get if this will not proceed," Jimenez said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)