Manila Standard - Putting itself in disrepute

13 September 2019

By Rod Kapunan | Manila Standard

"It would be tragic if the Presidential Electoral Tribunal were to do this."

The openly pro-Aquino appointee justice has calcified into his brain that allowing Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos to win would bring to an end to the era of hatred and vituperation in Philippine politics. Consequently, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (presided over by Justice Benjamin Caguioa reduced to a disgusting disrepute the office that has triumphantly proclaimed the virtues of integrity and honesty. There is heavy burden on Caguioa to maintain the rigged result, fearing it could put to an end the yellow hypocrisy, demagoguery and puppetry.

To begin with, the petition is simply seeking a recount of the votes cast during the May 9, 2016 election for vice president. It was characterized by massive fraud, thus reducing the exercise to a complete farce. The hypocrites, after their capture of political power in 1987, resurrected R.A. No. 1757 that was enacted during the administration of Magsaysay. Section 3 of the Act says that the PET shall decide electoral contests pursuant to Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution. It accorded PET 24 months to decide such petitions.

What surprised many is that, after Caguioa unreasonably delayed the petition for more than two years, some justices are now asking for an “extension to allow them to deliberate on the draft of his ponencia.” They want a deliberation after that classmate of Noynoy Aquino consumed more time than what was allotted him to decide the case. Strictly speaking, this constitutes a gross violation of the law.

To accede to their demand would give premium to a seemingly malicious and intentional delay done by Caguioa. This negates the purpose of the petition much that there is expiration the petitioner seeks to catch up. In legal parlance, there is the possibility the petitions may become stale or in the vernacular a case of “g*gohan.”

The PET is supposed to rectify the electoral fraud. Instead, the petition has metamorphosed to one where the adjudicator has become an accomplice to the fraud. The chairman is duty-bound to explain the unreasonably delay. He is supposed to decide the case within 24 month, but the petition has been pending for 36 months. Nobody knows when the tribunal would finally be ready with a verdict.

Filipinos who voted for Marcos strongly suspect the underlying reason why Caguioa is delaying the case. First, they fear that to decide the case in favor of the petitioner will expose the entire electoral machines installed in the land of the gullible as nothing more but a network for cheating operations. Second, a reversal will affect not only the credibility of the Comelec but also of the organizations that are widely believed to ensure political swindling, like the church-organized Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting. Even their mercenary mascots that keeps on calling themselves communists are frantic in keeping the foundation of demagoguery intact.

To let Bongbong win would result in political catastrophe. The loss of Robredo can never be narrowly interpreted as an ordinary loss of a yellow candidate but a transition to restore political sanity to this country. The victory of Duterte was unexpected. Aside from the logistics for bribing an entire electorate, the cheating machinery and the various organizations in place, they never anticipated that an avalanche of opposition votes would swamp them.

Paradoxically, Duterte’s victory was an ominous warning that political hypocrisy and demagoguery was coming to an end. The gimmick of building up Robredo through a macabre practice of dramatizing death called necropolitics that created Mrs. Aquino and her son Noynoy, by manipulating the sentimentality of Filipinos, has become outmoded. The image to project Robredo as another of their immaculate savior stands in contrast to their false propaganda of President Duterte as violator of human rights. It has been superseded by the truth about people’s desire for peace and order in society.

Allowing Robredo to continue as vice president is the pivotal to the cause of the opposition. It does not matter whether she commits one embarrassing faux pas after another in her pronouncements, indicating her inability to comprehend issues. She cannot even decipher and narrate how her political brokers dangerously placed the country in a situation that could make her a ridiculous puppet. Noynoy allowed the return of the US military bases, pursued a policy of antagonizing China over the South China Sea, intensified our alliance with the West to placate China, and hamper our quest for economic development through closer ties with our equally prosperous neighbors in Asia.

The thought of allowing BBM to win the petition is unthinkable for them. Such is not only tantamount to admitting that their lackey and her horde of fanatical zealots committed massive electoral fraud. This is apparent because the opposition are now marshalling all their forces against the government, and that includes exerting their influence in the judiciary specifically of preventing Marcos from winning. They have even run out of logic and common sense like telling the commissioners “not to deviate from the result of the revision and recount and that the Supreme Court should not deviate from the recommendations and findings of the hearing of the commissioners.”

This Romeo Macalintal forgot that he is the same lawyer who filed a silly counter-petition to the petition filed by Bongbong to maliciously delay the proceedings which the court promptly rejected. Had the Supreme Court entertained his ludicrous petition, there would be no end to the case to make the justices appear like bunch of clowns.

This now explains why Senator Panfilo Lacson wants to embarrass some of the appointees of President Duterte. This latent confederate of the yellow opposition could sense that in the event Robredo is declared loser, her ratings could uncontrollably slide down that she could not win should they pit her in the next election. This is possible for by then she would be branded a cheater, and Lacson wants to cash in as next contender.

If Lacson is aiming for the top slot, he better forget it. President Duterte is correct in calling him ignorant. He just wants to grab any issue to remind the electorate he is still in circulation. He is supposed to be the last man to ask Faeldon on the issue of releasing prisoners. First, he was a signatory to that poorly crafted law that opened and extended incentives to corruption. Second, as a law enforcement officer, he should have surrendered when a warrant was issued for his arrest as a gesture for his respect for the law. They are also questioning his motive for running in the 2004 presidential election. People suspect he played the role of a political spoiler to destroy the candidacy of FPJ.

The same can be said of Senator Poe. Her popularity has been on the decline after she landed third place in the 2016 presidential election. Mar Roxas’ landing on second place practically wiped out her ambition of becoming president. Voters assumed she was incapable of winning. In the end, the loss of popularity of Senators Lacson and Poe is something they both failed to anticipate. They bungled their opportunity.