Can PNoy still run a transparent and credible election?

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I met Liberal Party presidential nominee Mar Roxas and his wife Korina at the wake of the late PDI columnist Neal Cruz at the Shrine of our Lady at Mount Carmel in Quezon City on Friday evening, and wished him luck on his nomination. Although I am no Roxas fan or supporter, I was pleased to see the ruling party free itself from the clutches of the propaganda fraudsters by declaring Roxas as its candidate despite his reputedly poor “survey” ratings.

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It was a relief to see Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares fall off her perch, after contemptuously ignoring the constitutional provision that bars her from daydreaming about the presidency, for not being a natural-born Filipino. I also thought Mar’s anointing would end Malacañang’s relentless bid to force Vice President Jejomar C. Binay out of the race by throwing all sorts of dirt at him, first before the Senate blue ribbon committee, and now before the Ombudsman.

I surmised that after his anointing, Roxas could no longer afford to be seen as trying to become president by physically eliminating the competition. The original agenda was to send Binay to jail and force him to give up his thirst for the presidency at this time of the year. It has obviously failed. It would be intolerably vulgar to pursue it still, at this point. Thus, many people expected Binay to welcome Mar’s anointing rather than “sneer” at it, as reported in the Times.

Will PNoy and the LP have the courage to go for clean, honest and credible elections? This is what everyone is waiting for. PNoy needs to undo his unhappy record in the 2010 and 2013 elections, but it entails a virtual transformation of the man and what he believes in. Since August of last year, the National Transformation Council, in various assemblies from Lipa to Davao, has repeatedly called for urgent reforms to ensure clean, honest and credible elections. Not once have we heard any positive response from PNoy. Or from any known presidential aspirant, for that matter.

PNoy’s first announcement, after the anointing, is that he would campaign vigorously for Mar. This offers little hope and encouragement. The last time he got directly involved in an election in 2013, the result was the 60-30-10 across-the-board formula for all his senatorial winners. He now says he would campaign for Mar without costing the government anything. This is a contradiction in terms. Anytime and every time the President moves, it is at the people’s expense, even when it merely involves the use of tissue paper.

The only way PNoy can campaign for Mar without costing us anything is for him to go on leave during the election period, and personally fund his own campaign. But this would mean putting the presidency in the hands of Vice President Binay, who will also be running. PNoy’s best role is to take a completely neutral position. This alone will help ensure clean, honest and credible elections.

A great deal will depend on his latest rethink on the Commission on Elections. We are now witnessing the Comelec perform its old song and dance about wanting to keep the elections clean while doing everything to make sure that Smartmatic, the Venezuelan marketing firm, remains in control of the election, through its precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine, which was used to rig the 2010 and 2013 elections.

Various petitions have been filed by various groups before the Supreme Court in an effort to replace Smartmatic’s automated voting system with something infinitely more transparent, trustworthy and less expensive. At the same time, certain legal issues have arisen questioning Smartmatic’s eligibility to do business in the Philippines. A Smartmatic International audit report to the British House of Commons has stated that Smartmatic TIM (Philippines) is 100-percent foreign-owned and therefore has no legal personality to do business in the Philippines.

But the entry of British Baron Mark Malloch-Brown as chairman of Smartmatic International and his reported private meeting with PNoy last June appear to have made Smartmatic’s hold on Philippine elections unshakeable. Malloch-Brown is an international political operator who once worked for Cory Aquino before and after the 1986 presidential snap elections. He was once Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and a close collaborator of the billionaire speculator George Soros in changing “unwanted governments” in the Balkans.

At this point, only PNoy’s absolute neutrality in favor of the Constitution and the law can ensure transparent and credible elections. He alone can reverse the Comelec’s position that “there’s no more time” for clean, honest and credible elections. As PNoy was able to stop Grace Poe Llamanzares from insinuating herself illegally into the presidential contest, he could do whatever is necessary to ensure credible elections, some advocates for transparent elections point out.

How did he handle Mrs. Llamanzares, in the first place?

This is one time I am not embarrassed to credit PNoy for his class act. According to a highly reliable source, before PNoy delivered his final State of the Nation Address on July 27, he asked to see Mrs. Llamanzares at the Batasan. He made sure no one else was around. There, with a minimum of conversation, he showed her a secret folder from Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, which made the color of her face change. It is not known (not yet anyway) what was in that folder, but it was obviously highly incriminating material.

There’s some speculation that the folder could contain an abbreviated record of Mrs. Llamanzares’s numerous misrepresentations about her personal circumstances, which not only disqualify her from pursuing the presidency or the vice-presidency, but even from retaining her seat in the Senate.

Thus far, Llamanzares and her supporters have chosen to ignore observations appearing in this space and other sections of the press that she is constitutionally disqualified from pursuing the presidency, the vice presidency, or even a seat in Congress. This because she is not “a natural-born citizen,” as required by the Constitution, defined as one who is a Philippine citizen from birth, who did not have to perform any act to acquire or perfect his/her citizenship.

Llamanzares is not “natural-born”, having been born stateless as a foundling of unknown parentage who was abandoned inside a church in Jaro, Iloilo on Sept. 3, 1968. She appears to have become a Filipino citizen through some legal process after she was adopted by the movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. and his wife Susan Roces. But she lost her Philippine citizenship after she moved to the US and became an American citizen. She returned to the Philippines in 2005, renounced her US citizenship in 2012, and tried to reacquire Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, otherwise known as “the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act.”

For a while, many thought she had in fact reacquired Philippine citizenship. Even though she did not become a natural-born Filipino, people thought she became a Filipino citizen all over again, at least. That was the implication of her claim to citizenship. But this turns out to be mistake. A closer rereading of RA 9225 shows that Mrs. Llamanzares never became, and could never have become, a Filipino citizen under RA 9225. Why? Because the law covers not every former Filipino citizen who wants to repatriate, but only “former natural-born Filipino citizens” who would like to reacquire their former citizenship. Section 3 of the law provides:

“Sec. 3. Retention of Philippine citizenship. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, natural-born citizens by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic.

“I ______________________solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines, and I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; and that I impose this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”

The law is clearly restated in its implementing rules (BID Memorandum Circular No. AFF-04-01. So Mrs. Llamanzares not being “natural-born” cannot, and did not, legally reacquire Philippine citizenship. Whatever process she has gone through that looked like a reacquisition of Philippine citizenship was clearly void ab initio. Having renounced her US citizenship in 2012, and having no valid Philippine citizenship either, she appears to be back to her original status as a founding—-stateless.

Now, if this is what the folder contained, and PNoy thrust it into the hands of Llamanzares without blinking, it means he could still do bigger things for clean and honest elections and Philippine democracy. Will he?

fstatad@gmail.com

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26 Comments

  1. isidro c. valencia on

    IF PIGNOY is after that elusive “truth,” he could divulge that matter which caused Hail FPJ full of disGrace’s face reddened.

    NO BLACK MAIL or like kidnapper Abu Sayaf asking for ransom. That is a criminal act.

    IF P-NOY would use that “folder” as instrument to force disGrace as MAR arumi’s running mate, then PIGNOY has a criminal thinking.

  2. Manila Mayor Erap Estrada also qouted earlier that Mar is incorruptable and qualified to be a future Philippine President.

    Erap may be cutting a deal to swing his support to the Liberal Party and Mar in exchange for the release of his plundering son.

    • Why else would Erap support the people that jailed his son ?

      Erap voting block in the bag…check

  3. MadHatter1203 on

    We might as well go with massive disenfranchisement. Voting for the lesser of evils is an exercise in futility.

  4. Daniel B. Laurente on

    Ay kung doon sya natagpuan ng bata pa sa lugar na tawag na bayan ng Jaro, Iloilo, na parte ng Pilipinas samakatuwid sya ay Filipino born, Hindi naman puede na stateless sya kasi doon sya natagpuan.

    • agree! natural born citizen sya, kahit sa unknown parents. kung alien yung parents nya, nagpunta lng ng iloilo para itapon sya? walang logic.

  5. Can PNoy still run a transparent and credible election?

    What has Pnoy ever done that was transparent ?
    A master of lies and coverups is all i have ever seen.

  6. if the pcos-smarmatic machine runs the elections for us come 2016 then it will be a sham! it is a loaded-dice machine and therefore will not reflect the true mandate of the people!

  7. Foundlings can be natural born citizens. The Constitution states that generally accepted principles are a part of the law of the Philippines. Under international law, foundlings have a right to nationality, which can be acquired right after birth. Imagine if no foundling could ever aspire for national office? How discriminatory!

  8. Amnata Pundit on

    I believe that Boy Sayad was forced by the Roxas forces in the LP (Lapiang Palpak)- I will even go so far as to say he was blackmailed- to endorse Mar for 2016. If he wasn’t able to stop these Mar Roxas forces, then he cannot do anything to stop the gods behind Smartmatic who are certainly more capable than anything that Mar Roxas can come up with, and you know who they are. I think the Supreme Court justices are afraid of these gods too. The fate of the nation as it will be determined by the 2016 elections rests on no one else but the people, as only the people can stop Smartmatic. For those who want clean and honest elections in 2016, it is time to FORGET ALL OTHER ISSUES and instead apply a FULL COURT PRESS on Comelec/Smartmatic. There is no other way. OCCUPY COMELEC NOW !

  9. If in 2016 voters will have no choice but to pick between two evils, lesser or greater at that, then there would not be a meaningful election where peoples’ wish is to elect a no evil candidate. Instead, the country need a powerful exorcist to cast out these demons in the house of congress, in the senate, in the judiciary, and specially in the executive department where the source of all evil come from…. money!

    • the disqualification should be filed for her position as senator since she has not filed for her candidacy for the 2016 election as yet.

  10. In fairness to all the PEOPLE who helped restore back the democratic processes and freedom for all the Law abiding Citizens of the PHILIPPINES!, let us not muddle the issues of being a Philippine Citizens—-A stateless persons has no business being a HOLDER of an ELECTIVE Official (position) of its duly constituted Laws of the land! Kailangan voluntarily EVACATE Kaagad ang position kanyang napanalunan—para naman Mai-restore ang tunay na paniniwala nang mga MAMAMAYAN NANG BANSA! di bah!???mvnoy

  11. this would be another HOCUS PCOS operation. What a sad nation that the people’s choice is never truly elected.

  12. NGAYON KA LANG TUMAMA SA COMMENT MO KAY GRACE POE. SHE IS UNQUALIFIED TO BE A SENATOR AS WELL AS TO BE BECOME A PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPIINES BEING A STATELESS PERSON. SHE IS A PERSONA ENGRATA AND OUR GOVERNMENT MUST DECLARED THAT ASAP. YUMABANG NA AT AKALA MO MATALINO NA PARA MAGING PRESIDENTE GAYON KAHIT BARANGAY CHAIRMAN AY HINDI KAYA ANG TRABAJO PURO DALDAL LANG.

    • matagal ko nang na-e blog na kapag nagfile si Grace ng COC ay tiyak na magkikita sila ni Christian Monsod et al sa korte kung siya ba ay ipinanganak talaga sa Pinas. ano ang kanyang katibayan. sa pass port na lang ay talo na siya. usa passport ang ginamit niya nang lumabas ng Bansa na hindi puwedeng mabura sa embassy ng USA.

  13. Well, it seems that Jojo is playing his role as a foot soldier to the hilt. By anointing Senyor Kho Rheena, not only was simyon making it appear to the world that he keeps his word but he is also practically giving the Presidency to Jojo. Everybody knows that in an honest and credible election, Jojo can make mincemeat of Senyor Kho Rheena. Thus, simyon will just go thru the motion of ensuring a clean and honest election and the presidency goes to Jojo. Surely, simyon would rather bank on Jojo to protect him after his term. There is also the undercurrent that the father of Senyor Kho Rheena practically waylaid Benigno Aquino from their anti-Marcos struggle before. Since he felt that he was slowly becoming an outcast from the Liberal Party and out of the limelight, Benigno felt the need to come back. Simyon knows that his father’s return trip to Manila was all about wanting to get fame and popularity back.

  14. Dominador D. Canastra on

    I believe in miracles. And I am praying for PCOS-produced President Aquino gets converted from his crooked (hindi Matuwid na Daan ways) and secretly orders his man, Comelec Chair Bautista, to junk the demonic Smartmatic PCOS machines. And allow us Filipinos to freely choose who our next preswident will be.

  15. Honest election? Inilagay niya ang kilala at kagalang-galang na si Bautista sa comelec upang hindi pagdudahan!
    Pero pareho sila ng utak ni brillantes,smartmatic lang ang nakaprogram sa utak nila!ito ang pag-asa ni Mar at Aquino!

  16. We welcome the endorsement of DILG Sec. Mar Roxas as the anointed by BSAIII as LP-Coalition presidential bet for 2016. It will be incumbent upon Mar now to personally offer the vice presidential post tandem to Sen. Grace Poe. Common sense dictates to a humble man as Mar that a peace pipe offering to amazing Grace in person might be the significant signal which she wanted to hear personally from the anointed before she finally decide to join the fray? Mar, you don’t telegraph your intention thru a third party in this case with PNoy’s cajoling on previous meetings but do it yourself now. Mar, there is no harm in trying to convince amazing Grace at this juncture of your quest together to victories in May’2016? Mar should move fast and don’t allow PNoy to dictate who will be his vice presidential tandem. It is sending mix signal to the public that now that he was already anointed, why is it that Mar is also awaiting PNoy to announce his vice presidential bet? From now on, Mar should be resolute in ascertaining what is his supposed to be decision before the public will start to worry about his utter dependence to PNoy? Lastly, before Grace Poe change her mind and do the needful of also announcing her own presidential quest?

    • Grace Poe is not a ‘natural born’ citizen of the Philippines, therefore, not qualified to run for the office! What part of that fact don’t you understand, Fernando? Why are you so infatuated with this broad who does not have loyalty to the country that afforded her initial citizenship and neither has she to the country, the US, a naturalization opportunity. Her character is very much in question, the issue, don’t you see? Huh, huh?

    • I support the comments of Fernando Anluagui, futhermore I will also support Mar Roxas for President for the Republic of the Philippines because of his good experience in the public service being a Secretary of Trade and Industry during Joseph Estrada Administration. Land transportation Secretary, Interior Secretary to the Pnoy adminstration.
      Manila Mayor Erap Estrada also qouted earlier that Mar is incorruptable and qualified to be a future Philippine President.

    • Guaranteed incompetence.

      Under Roxas’ term as DOTC secretary, the running MRT trains went down from 73 to just 16.

      Then Roxas transferred to DILG chief.

      Look back at the job he did during Typhoon Yolanda
      5 days after the typhoon and he didn’t even have a food and water station set up. Maybe Roxas didn’t know people like to eat and drink everyday.

      Mayor Alfred Romualdez asked DILG Secretary Roxas, who has jurisdiction over the national police, to deploy additional policemen in Tacloban because 90 percent of its police force was decimated. No help came.

      Instead, Mar Roxas tried to oust Romualdez as mayor of Tacloban. He demanded a city ordinance transferring power to the DILG chief.

      Romualdez asked why,
      Roxas’s reply “You have to remember: We have to be very careful because you are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino.”

      How about the massacre of the SAF 44 ?
      Mar took a tour and had lunch while the SAF were being massacred.

      He did txt General Napenas at 7:12pm
      “Keep calm and keep your head.
      We will not abandon the troops.”
      Of course this was hours after the 44 commando’s were already dead.

      Mar Roxas is the poster boy for incompetence.