Thursday, August 04, 2005

Count the ERs

For the past several weeks, the Philippine Congress has been conducting hearings to determine whether the "Hello Garci" aka "Gloriagate" recordings are authentic. Yesterday, the Congress issued an arrest warrant for former COMELEC Commissioner Garcilliano after he "ignored it's summons to appear" (quoted fromt the PDI).

Meanwhile, the Senate for the past several months has been conducting hearings on jueteng (in aid of legislation). In the Senate hearings, there are allegations that Mike Arroyo, the husband of the President, Mikey Arroyo, the son of the President and Iggy Arroyo, the brother-in-law of the President are involved in this illegal endeavor. Yesterday, they had as witness/resource person, Michaelangelo Zuce who testified that the President knew that jueteng money was used to bribe Philippine election officials so they would help in her campaign. In addition, he also testified that "all the conversations (in the 'Hello Garci' tapes) really took place because Commissioner Garcilliano told me about them"

Partly because of the revelations from these hearings, an impeachment complaint was submitted to Congress. The complainants, for the past several days have been boasting about the roomfulls of evidence and the witnesses they have against the President. If Zuce is part of their panel of witnesses against the President, then I think we will be in for a long, very long impeachment. As I write this, the President's minions have been out gathering dirt against Zuce to damage his credibility, I do not know if the will succeed or not, or whether Zuce can convince more members of Congress to sign the impeachment complaint, I only know that I do not want this process to drag on.

I have been waiting for someone to propose we count the Elecion Returns, if the "Hello Garci " tapes are real and if election officials actually took bribes, then, this will be reflected in the higher levels of canvassing. The tapes, and maybe Mr. Zuce can pinpoint the provinces that cheating happened, Congress, in aid of legislation, can subpoena the Election Returns of these Privinces, they can then count the ERs per precinct and compare the results to the results of the Provincial canvass, if the ER totals are totally different than the Provincial canvass, then I think we can definitely conclude that cheating has taken place.

We do not need roomfulls of evidence and hundreds of witnesses to impeach President Arroyo, we need a smoking gun, and counting the ER's will give us concrete evidence of cheating. I can't understand why nobody is pursuing this. The opposition kept on insisting that the ERs be counted during the Congressional canvass, why are they not insisting on this procedure now? Surely a delay in the impeachment proceeding is permissible if it can guarantee victory. They do not even need to count all the provinces, one province where cheating can be proved is enough.

Count the Election Returns - let the Filipino people know the truth.

7 comments:

Abe said...

Nice post, Roy. I linked to it on DLMSY.

Love the "PUPPIE" reference.

Abe

roy choco said...

Thanks, I was able to improve my spelling and sentence construction after i read your post.

It would be a cold day in ____ before I can defeat you in googlefight, but that day will come :)

Abe said...

References to our little blogs are just teaspoons of water in the oceans of hits generated for those phrases. That will make it hard for you to beat me. :)

Abe said...

Roy,

Monica is teasing me for saying Mrs. Arroyo is a "staunch ally" in the War on Terror. What's your view on her effectiveness in this? Obviously there would be much distraction in the event of an impeachment proceeding. Beyond that, do you think you think Mrs. A. or her rival(s) would be more interested/effective in combatting terrorism in The Philippines?

Abe

roy choco said...

The track record of the Philippines in combatting "terrorist" groups have not been stellar. A communist insurgency has been going on since the 1950's. The Mindanao/Muslim separatist movement started in the late 60's early 70's. The Islamist/Abu Sayyaf movement began in the late 80's early 90's. And all are still here.

Of course it has been posited that part of the problem is that endemic poverty breeds support for these movements.

Even so, I believe the Philippines and any of its future leaders will always be an ally of the US in the war on terror. The benefits the Philippines and our Armed Forces receive are too much to be passed over.

I think that the Philippines can be effective in preventing our country from becoming a base for "foreign" terrorists, meaning not Filipinos. Domestic "terrorists" get safe harbor through kinship connections, foreign terorists do not have this resource. I do not think the US can expect the Philippines to do a lot more than this.

And yes, the current political turmoil does distract the President from her other functions, including the war on terror.

Full Disclosure: I was opposed to the Iraq War, I thought that a valid case was made for the removal of Saddam, I was not convinced on the WMD's. But as a citizen of a country whose sovereignty has always been fragile in the face of superpower politics and sometimes whims, the respect for the sovereign right of nations trumped all arguments in my view.

Abe said...

Thanks, Roy.

MonicaR said...

Yes thank you Roy. I appreciate your candor. I hope that my view that Arroyo is a little less than a 'staunch ally' was not offensive to you.

I'm especially grateful for the information that the terrorist groups operating in the Philippines are still a problem. This had been my view and several Filipinos who I had the honor of arguing with insisted that there was no more terrorism problem there.

Fascinating about the election and impending impeachment process. God bless and strength to you.