THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is inviting an “upheaval” because of its “suspicious” decision disqualifying Sen. Grace Poe from the presidential race, a political analyst said on Thursday.
Ramon Casiple, also the executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER), noted that majority of the members of the commission were members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP).
He said while he expected the poll body to decide against Poe, the timing of the promulgation of its decision is highly suspect.
“We cannot blame the people to doubt the Comelec considering that almost all of the commissioners used to be part of the Liberal Party. They are in the inner circle or key people in the party,” Casiple added in an interview.
The Comelec, he said, is inviting an upheaval before the election, because the electorate will not accept a scenario where they will be forced to choose a candidate based on the decision of the poll body.
“It will be the end of the Cory days. It has been 30 years since the country underwent a historical change and I think the situation is very ripe for another change and the Comelec is delivering it,” Casiple said.
a historical change and I think the situation is very ripe for another change and the Comelec is delivering it,” Casiple said.
He lamented that the commission also undermined the credibility of the election process with its decision on the disqualification cases against Poe.
Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, agreed with the analyst.
Batocabe said the Comelec’s recent move did not earn the agency credibility.
“If it is true that the Comelec is biased towards one candidate, our democracy is imperiled as our people might lose faith in our electoral system. It is imperative that we should hold honest and credible elections if we want to continue our economic gains because these could not be achieved if we continue disqualifying serious candidates like Senator Poe,” Batocabe, said in a text message.
Poe is not the only presidential candidate whose presidential run is being questioned.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the standard bearer of the PDP-Laban, is also facing three disqualification cases at the Comelec.
The complaints filed by Ruben Castor, Radioman Rizalito David, and University of the Philippines student JP Delas Nievas seek to disqualify the tough-talking mayor on grounds that he was not a qualified substitute for PDP-Laban standard bearer Martin Diño.
Casiple said there is a possibility that the Comelec will also disqualify Duterte.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, who topped the recent presidential survey conducted by Pulse Asia, is not facing any disqualification case but he was charged with plunder and graft at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Casiple said there are rumors that the Ombudsman will be filing cases against Binay at the Sandiganbayan next year, a move that may “cripple” the vice president.
“So it will be Mar Roxas that will be left, since practically speaking, Senator Miriam (Santiago) will not be able to campaign and I don’t think the people will accept such kind of an election,” the analyst said.
Once the High Court upheld the Comelec’s decision against Poe, Casiple said there will be no stopping the poll body from disqualifying Duterte.
He said Binay can exploit the situation by getting the votes meant for Poe and Duterte but it is unlikely for the vice president to take advantage of the situation and sacrifice the credibility of the elections.
“It is only the Comelec that has no intention to do it (maintain credibility). It doesn’t care if the election is fair or not. But the Comelec needs to look at the bigger picture give more importance to the people and not the Liberal Party,” Casiple said.