“The Comelec is filled with Aquino appointees and is headed by Andres Bautista, a cousin of Aquino and a former campaigner of Roxas.”
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA – Saying that the ruling Aquino administration and its Liberal Party bets led by Mar Roxas have been thoroughly discredited before the Filipino people, the labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno urged voters today to guard against the ruling party’s latest “gimmickry” to “enthrone Roxas through elections.”
Just the latest, according to KMU, was Roxas camp’s failed attempt to make his rivals Senator Grace Poe and Vice-President Jejomar Binay give way for him.
Poe has rejected the offer to back out in favor of Roxas, but as a result, she is “being demonized by the Aquino-Roxas camp in social media and in mainstream media,” said the KMU. Aquino-Roxas camp is reportedly accusing Poe of dividing the flank of democracy against the specter of dictatorship supposedly embodied by Rodrigo Duterte. This, the KMU said, just when Poe has become more vocal in criticizing the hypocrisy of Aquino administration’s “daang matwid” (righteous path), and given the Aquino administration’s “lack of moral ascendancy in claiming to work for democracy.”
Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairperson of KMU, said the people are in fact glad that Poe has rebuffed Roxas’ “arrogant-haciendero offer of talks and unity.”
“People know that if there’s a presidentiable who should withdraw from the race, that is the consistent flop and kulelat (laggard) Roxas, who has never topped any survey,” said Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary general.
Aquino-Roxas’ cheating machinery
Aside from KMU, other groups have previously accused the Aquino-Roxas camp of setting the stage for massive cheating in the May 9 elections.
Bai Ali Indayla, Gabriela Women’s Party spokesperson for Mindanao and its third nominee, said in another statement that there are numerous “maneuvers,” mostly initiated by the leading candidates of the ruling administration, to snatch the elections away from the people. These, she said, include the massive use of government funds, machinery and programs, including the Conditional Cash Transfer Program or 4Ps, for the campaign of Aquino’s endorsed candidate, Mar Roxas.
“The Aquino-Roxas camp’s game plan consists of the following: make it appear that Roxas is topping surveys or is climbing to the top of surveys, bring down his opponents Duterte and Poe through black propaganda, rig the elections via electronic means, and then make it appear that its machinery and well-oiled propaganda machine made the supposed victory possible,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairman of KMU.
For much of the campaign, Roxas consistently lagged in surveys. It was only in the last two weeks before May 9 that his camp can make much of the results of the D’Strafford and Pulse Asia surveys that show him in the first or second place. But the final pre-election survey of the Social Weather Stations shows that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Grace Poe are in first and second places, respectively.
“D’ Strafford survey is so obviously fabricated and made-up and is a desperate effort to mind-condition the public for a Roxas victory,” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairman of youth group Anakbayan.
A newcomer in disclosing so-called survey results, D’ Strafford quickly met with skepticism because it has “virtually unknown officials”, and its websites and social media accounts are all newly-registered, said Crisostomo. The outfit was made known to Security and Exchange Commission only last April 11.
Because many local candidates are running unopposed, Crisostomo warned that it adds to vulnerability for cheating. “We can expect lots of vote buying, pre-shaded ballots. Meanwhile, errors will mar voting in known bases of opposition candidates,” said Crisostomo.
Automated cheating-enabled from VCM to transmission and counting
Based on assessments of IT groups and watchdogs of Comelec’s preparations, automated cheating is highly probable and virtually hard to track from the levels of the VCM (vote counting machines) to transmission and counting of votes.
Prof. Bobby M. Tuazon, director for policy studies of Center for People Empowerment in Governance, said the new AES (automated election system) is not cut out to ensure accurate, secured, and credible election results.
“Instead, its deficiencies and vulnerabilities will make electronic fraud involving national positions – as well as local positions – more likely to happen on election day,” said Tuazon.
Various groups fear that Comelec has deliberately missed its mandate to favor administration candidates. Among others, the Comelec has refused to have the source code of the machines verified, to have the digital signatures embedded in CF cards, and to provide verifiable and valid vote receipts.
KMU said the Aquino-Roxas camp has the crucial control over Comelec and Smartmatic. “The Comelec is filled with Aquino appointees and is headed by Andres Bautista, a cousin of Aquino and a former campaigner of Roxas,” Labog of KMU said in a statement.
Smartmatic, meanwhile, the company that Comele has consistently tapped since 2009, is reportedly under the control of the Central Intelligence Agency through the SGO holding company whose chairman is Lord Malloch Brown, a long-time top-level British intelligence operative. KMU said Brown has been pretending to be a public relations expert and served as political adviser to Cory Aquino in her 1986 electoral campaign.
Comelec and Smartmatic are “obviously ill-prepared” for the automated elections on Monday, said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon. This early, there are reports already of anomalies and irregularities in the AES, ranging from glitches in the canvass machines to the yet to be resolved “Comeleaks” controversy.
In various statements, peoples organizations called on the public, including the opposition parties, to unite to thwart “the Liberal Party plan to hijack the elections via massive electronic fraud.”
“Knowing fully well that Noynoy will be made accountable for his various crimes against the people once he steps out of office, President Aquino is growing desperate,” said Crisostomo of Anakbayan.
Beyond the 2016 elections, various groups also pointed out the “rottenness and pro-elite and anti-poor nature of Philippine elections.” “The fact that massive fraud has been made possible by the Aquino-Roxas camp shows that even the workers’ and people’s votes for representatives of the factions of the country’s elite are subject to cheating,” said Labog.
Similar to the calls aired by women and youth groups against the Aquino-Roxas camp’s scheme to cheat the elections, workers with KMU called on the public to be vigilant and fight the attempts of the Aquino administration to maintain itself in power.