SPO1 Adonis Dumpit’s name hugged newspaper headlines the past few days when he avoided arrest by taking a leave of absence and going to his home province in Davao Oriental.

Dumpit is facing a murder charge for the death of Ronron Go, a suspected robber, who he claimed he shot and killed in self-defense. The military ombudsman has downgraded the charge to homicide but the court has yet to rule on this development.

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Dumpit, just like many other cops, is quiet, polite and easy to approach. He made a name because of his being daring and intrepid. His adventures even earned him the “Dirty Harry” moniker.

He is feared by criminals. He had sent to jail many of Cebu’s wanted criminals and fugitives. The others prematurely met their judgment day.

To be locked up at the Cebu City jail where most of the criminals he arrested are detained is something Dumpit could not take. Perhaps he is worried about what will happen to him inside the jail.

I know that Dumpit hates the tag “fugitive cop.” Having run after several fugitives from justice, he knows how it feels to be a rat hiding from the cat. “I didn’t want to feel like a criminal in hiding,” he told reporters.

By surrendering to his police superiors, Dumpit showed true courage as a police officer. It also showed that he does not want to jeopardize the position of his superiors and of the organization where he belongs.

Hiding and running away from a case would not have made Dumpit different from ordinary fugitives from justice. Good that he realized that running away from a good fight is a sign of weakness and is bad for the image of the Philippine National Police.

There is no truth to the rumor, though, that thugs in Metro Cebu are rejoicing over Dumpit’s surrender the other day.

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Last week, Smartmatic provided Cebu media a hands-on experience on feeding a filled ballot into an automated counting machine.

Smartmatic is provider of the said technology to Comelec for this year’s poll automation.

In the same forum, politicalarena.com was also launched. This is the first socio-political networking site in the country, thereby taking the May 10 polls to the next level. This online technology allows a voter to engage a candidate in an interaction.

Although an automated counting machine is not a guarantee of a fraud-free election, it does, however, provide some sense of safety and assures voters that their votes will be counted.

Lawyer Frank Malilong, who tried the machine, is more concerned about how to ensure that the votes for his presidential candidate will be counted. He wants to anticipate the ways his candidate might be cheated using the counting machines.

Smartmatic people may have reservations about the process, but they won’t admit openly that cheating is possible in their highly secured counting machines. They said the ballots are also secured.

Automation will also reduce the number of watchers per candidate or political party. Likewise, protests during the appreciation of ballots will become things of the past.

One of the problems for the automated counting machine is when a voter over-votes or shades more than the required number of candidates, like for senators and councilors. The ballot will be invalidated.

To prevent over-voting and other similar mistakes, the Comelec must educate people from all levels to prevent massive disenfranchisement of voters.