THE people want the May 9 elections. The nation needs the elections in order to put its house in order, and to set its course aright.
No decision or action, therefore, must be taken, official or non-official, that will tend to thwart or prevent the holding of elections on the date ordained by the Constitution – the second Monday of May this year.
In casually speculating that the elections can be postponed to June 9, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is indulging in conjecture that is irresponsible and injurious to the nation’s interest.
The Comelec is engaging in gamesmanship with the Supreme Court, in the vain hope that through this stratagem, the Court will modify or withdraw its order requiring the poll body to issue voters’ receipts in the balloting, and allow Comelec to relax on the election safeguard.
This is not a sound course to follow.
Comelec should not indulge in careless talk of how there is no more time left to prepare for the balloting. The election commissioners made the grievous mistake of not submitting on time their memorandum when former Senator Richard Gordon filed his suit before the SC, which agreed to hear it. As a consequence, they reaped their current dilemma of being pressed for both time and arguments.
The proper remedy is for the Comelec to argue its position before the SC, and persuade the justices on the soundness and correctness of its position.
If it wishes it should also discuss before the Court the issue of whether or why the voter’s receipt is truly vital to the honesty and credibility of the elections.
Many citizens are wondering about the real and practical value of their holding a receipt for their votes, and how this will help to ensure the proper counting of their votes. Is the rationale rooted on a conjectural or hypothetical recounting of votes using the receipts? Is this really contemplated by the automated election system law, because if it were, it makes the law slipshod and sophomoric.
This is to suggest that no one should be lazy in arguing these points before the Court, because nothing less than the proper conduct and integrity of the electoral process is at stake.
The Comelec should not make the mistake of making the nation choose between itself (its top officials) and the elections, because the people will surely choose elections and their exercise of suffrage.
An elections body is vital, yes, to the holding of elections. But officials are only temporary custodians of their office. The better way is for all officials and staff of the poll body to diligently prepare for their time of service to the nation, which they must not fail.
Comelec’s time should be entirely devoted now to preparations for the May 9 elections, and to ensuring their orderly, peaceful and honest conduct when the day comes.