February 18, 2010
IAF Alumni Group Discusses the
Michael Dioneda, Carlos Medina Jr and Siegfried Herzog
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty International
Academy for Leadership
(IAF) alumni gathered at the Foundation’s
office in Makati City on 18 February 2010 for its annual meeting.
The IAF alumni group serves not only as a network but as an institution
to further the development of liberal ideals
In keeping with this, the group invited Attorney
Michael Dioneda, National Capital Region election director
of the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC), and Attorney Carlos Medina Jr., executive director
of the Ateneo Human Rights Center, to an informal discussion on
the May electoral process.
Atty. Dioneda gave a short review of the automated electoral
procedure. He touched on issues such as the voting process, security
measures and back-up initiatives. However the integrity
of Philippine elections cannot be left
to the government
Atty. Medina spoke on the need for civil society
to take an active role
the democratic process.
He explained the role of the Legal
Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), an election watch
group he helped assemble. LENTE is composed of lawyers, law students
and paralegals. It was formed in 2007 to monitor the canvassing
of the then national elections. For this year’s elections,
LENTE has expanded its efforts. Aside from monitoring the proceedings,
it will work to ensure accountability during
the elections process. It is training its members on elements
of electoral offense, types of evidence needed, how to draft affidavits,
file complaints, etc. LENTE is seeking accreditation with COMELC
as a citizen’s arm so that it can work together with it
not only in the filing of electoral fraud cases
but also in educating the public on protecting
its right to vote.
It is true that there are many problems with the automated electoral
process. However, COMELEC and civil society both want the same
thing — successful elections. This is why LENTE is partnering
with COMELEC to ensure that the democratic process truly reflects
the public’s choices.
The alumni event ended with the release of the 2010 alumni directory.
This is a valuable resource in helping the group stay connected.