Just as a cardinal of the Catholic Church called the suggestion of people power as crazy, and then get a sharp retort from the head of a major religious congregation, subsequent developments proved the cardinal as largely out of touch, or worse. The controversial PCOS machines affirmed the worst suspicions when a nationwide testing revealed strong hints of a sinister pattern of the machines spewing out results which were different from what were shaded in the ballots inserted. From documented reports from almost all the areas being tested, many anti-administration candidates did not register any votes while much weaker rivals got all the votes. As confirmation that a disaster was in progress, Comelec had more than 70,000 Compact Flash Cards from as many PCOS machines recalled – then announced that an orchestrated campaign to discredit the Comelec was afoot. The PCOS machines simply followed what was programmed. They did not malfunction, they just produced results already programmed into their software – and they did this together, more than 70,000 of them nationwide. And our Comelec officials who are looking more dirty as ever has the gall to say that they are targets of a demolition job!
It is as if we are a country and people under siege, or governed by a dictatorship. When public officials tell the people that others are trying to make them look bad when the foul smell of an evil plan leaks from their own stupidity or clumsiness, they show no respect for a collective intelligence. That is not only deceitful on their part but arrogance as well. It is this arrogance which brings back memories of a conjugal dictatorship, when lies can be fed to a subservient population without any backlash other than a deepening resentment.
Aside from enjoying a rating twice as large as his closet rivals, Noynoy Aquino was surprisingly awarded the endorsement of the Iglesia Ni Kristo. I say surprisingly because a strategist of Villar just a day before had appeared on a TV show to say how such an endorsement could be a game changer, clearly expectant that his candidate would get it. But Noynoy got it instead, and I suppose the 20% lead he has is strongly bolstered by a powerful bloc vote. The endorsement compliments a rating which had not only been firm but now steadily going up as local candidates have been jumping from their sinking ships to board Noynoy’s.
It is really all over but the cheating, and what can happen after the cheating. As candidates have been wooing the people for their votes, officers and personnel in the AFP and the PNP have been wooed as well. Anticipating that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would not be able to resist making moves to prevent Noynoy from being elected, or to prevent Noynoy from being proclaimed, or to prevent Noynoy from actually sworn in on June 30 and sit as president on July 1, 2010, many concerned citizens have been in quiet meetings and discussions with respected leaders in uniform. These concerned citizens have been assured that the vast majority of officers and personnel in the AFP and the PNP want honest and peaceful elections, and will not tolerate machinations of the few identified die-hard Gloria loyalists.
From the beginning, I had pointed to the color of destiny defining the Noynoy Aquino candidacy. Throughout the whole campaign, Cory had been pinpointed as the instrument of destiny, or the reason why destiny is doing what it does. What many missed despite it being in front of all our faces, for those old enough to remember, that the context of Marcos and Cory in the snap elections set the tone of the context of this campaign – Gloria Arroyo as the modern Marcos , lying, stealing, cheating, and even killing. Manny Villar as a plausible secret candidate, the Plan B option called Villarroyo, also took on in the eyes of many the vices or crimes of the principal hate object, the lying, the stealing, the cheating – and the source of black propaganda.
The possibility, or fact, of destiny will play a very important role in the days and weeks to come. If today’s elections are a current replay of an event 24 years ago, there had to be a president who is largely viewed negatively and resented by many. An opposite personality will then emerge from almost nowhere, yet deeply connected to a legacy of heroism – as Cory the plain housewife was to the slain hero, Ninoy. A substantial percentage of Filipinos see Noynoy as that opposite personality, appreciating his aura of honesty and hopeful that he will return decency and transparency in governance. At the same time, Noynoy has that deep connection to a legacy of heroism, to a national hero and the beloved mother of democracy.
If we play out the comparison a few more notches, Gloria as president and commander-in-chief will attempt to manipulate the results of this elections, provoke protest actions by an enraged public, send out the troops to quell civil disobedience, and trigger a rebellion by patriotic officers and personnel of the AFP and the PNP. Should this happen, then Gloria Arroyo and her family will leave the country in haste and accept asylum in some foreign country. A new PCGG will run after her hidden wealth, the cronies will surrender her assets which are in their hands and point to where more of her secret assets are deposited.
Who from the Church will be the equivalent of Cardinal Sin? Definitely, it is not Cardinal Rosales who has not been a strong and consistent voice against corruption and immoral leadership. Who will be the Enriles and Ramoses of today? And the Left, will they be left out once more?
By refusing to learn well the lessons of the past, we have brought ourselves to another crisis point. Truly, we seem to be at the edge of a historical replay.
“There is always a philosophy for lack of courage.” Albert Camus