WE can breathe a sigh of relief that our country was able to conduct an election with almost none of the nightmare scenarios happening. The automated voting system, while it certainly did not work perfectly, did not suffer a massive breakdown, and the areas that did experience technical problems were a relatively tiny fraction of the whole. Although there was violence in some areas, which is always tragic and never acceptable, on balance the electoral exercise was more peaceful than it has been in past elections.
We still believe, however, that Smartmatic and the Aquino-Malacañang-Liberal Party conglomerate did something to subvert the true will of the people. The strange sudden shifts in the vote count could have happened only by the use of software management by experts who knew how to instruct the Vote Counting Machines to manipulate the numbers.
We have been informed of efforts to reduce the large number of votes for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. But the IT experts just could not tamper with more of the count without leaving a trace of their crime. And the wizards in the Palace also must have thought twice about the real threat from Mayor Duterte, echoed by his powerful supporters in the military, that civil war would break out if the Aquino-LP forces robbed him of his victory.
So, we congratulate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao for being the clear president-elect.
We join him in his calls for national unity and healing.
And we pledge to do what a just and fair newspaper should do: watch what the Duterte administration does, praise it when it does right and berate it for its wrongs.
Our electoral system must be reformed
Like all the presidents under the operation of the current electoral system sanctioned by the 1987 Constitution, Mr. Duterte’s impressive 15-plus million votes and 6-million vote lead over the second placer, Mar Roxas, makes him a winner elected by a minority and one who can be said to have been rejected by a large majority of the voters.
We believe that if ours were a more rational and correctly democratic electoral system, Mr. Duterte would have actually won by a landslide, chosen not just by 15,600,000-plus million of the 55,735,757 million registered voters for the 2016 election, but by at least 1/2 plus 1 of the registered voters.
There is no logic that can defend the election of a president with 38 or 39 percent of the vote as being truly democratic. That’s a few percentage points below the roughly 42 percent “mandate” of BS Aquino 3rd in 2010, and that election led us to six years of bitter division and wasted opportunity. There is no logic that can defend the independent election of the vice-president – whose only real job is to serve as the president’s understudy and potential replacement – when a possible result of that is the eventual thwarting of the presidential mandate, such as it is, by the accession of a political rival.
There is no logic in an electoral system in which qualifications for Senate seats elected on a national basis are less stringent than those for a teenager who wants to cook french fries at Jollibee.
President-elect Duterte will have so many things to do when he begins to work as our country’s chief executive officer. And one of these urgent things is to persuade Congress and all concerned sectors to draw up a better electoral system than what we have.