It happened toward the end of the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administration, and GMA may be in a position to confirm it.
There is a growing belief that President B. S. Aquino 3rd was not legitimately elected in 2010, but was simply “processed into office” by the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic, using the precinct count optical scan machines, which they had illegally divested of safety features and accuracy mechanisms. Aquino is, in effect, a de facto president.
Some analysts suggest that under extreme political duress, GMA was forced to either cooperate or look the other way in exchange for some assurance that Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd would be a benign president, and would not go after her for any of her purported sins.
Regardless of who was proclaimed winner in that election, the process was illegal and invalid. In Germany in 2009, the Federal Constitutional Court declared automated voting unconstitutional because, according to the Court, it removed the “public character” of elections, and an election without a public character is not an election.
This was one point I had tried to raise in public forums during the campaign, but of course nobody listened.
In our case, a serious constitutional breach invalidated the process. The “election” was conducted by Smartmatic, a Venezuelan private firm, which had no legal personality to conduct any election, for and on behalf of the Philippine government. The only legally constituted body with the authority and the duty to conduct elections for the Philippine government was (is) the Commission on Elections.
Assuming for the sake of argument, and only for the sake of argument, that the Comelec could delegate to a private foreign corporation the technical aspect of its authority and duty to conduct a national election, the law on automated voting, and the contract between the Comelec and Smartmatic on the use of the PCOS machines, prescribed a number of built-in safety features and accuracy mechanisms. These included the source code, the digital signatures, the voter verification mechanism, the ultra-violet marker, etc.
The Melo Comelec removed all of these, illegally, and it has remained an unpunished crime. This automatically rendered the use of the voting machines invalid and illegal, and the “results” drawn therefrom equally invalid and illegal. No invalid process can produce a valid result.
Homobono Adaza and Herman Tiu Laurel have petitioned the Supreme Court seeking to invalidate the whole 2010 elections. And some UP professors have filed criminal charges with the Ombudsman against the members of the Melo Commission for tampering with the PCOS machines and corrupting the elections.
There has been no action either from the Supreme Court or from the Ombudsman.
But this does not tell the whole story. How Aquino became a candidate and eventually president requires further telling.
This was 2010, and Aquino was then on his third year as a non-performing senator, after three terms as a non-performing congressman. Unlike his late father who could charm a snake with his gift of gab, Noynoy was an introvert. Cory had to campaign house-to-house, and plead with the late Governor Jose Yap of Tarlac to make him win on his first bid for Congress. As senator he had no declared political ambition, having reached the Senate on the sheer strength of his late father’s and mother’s reputation.
The declared Liberal Party presidential aspirant then was his friend and fellow senator Mar Roxas. They were both sprung from the same oligarchic class. Mar is the grandson of the late President Manuel Roxas, while PNoy is the grandson of the late Benigno S. Aquino, Sr., who was arrested in Tokyo for collaborating with the Japanese during the war but died of a heart attack before he could be tried for treason.
Mar’s and PNoy’s fathers were Senate colleagues and were seen as the most likely rivals for the presidency had martial law not scrapped the 1973 presidential contest. Gerry Roxas was seen as the statesman and Ninoy the demagogue, but the latter was the smarter strategist and tactician. In 1971, while Roxas was caught at Plaza Miranda with his LP colleagues when the communists struck, Ninoy, the party secretary general, was nowhere in sight.
Mar was going head to head with propaganda survey-leader Manny Villar in the pre-campaign, but he could not find a suitable potential team-mate–ideally someone from Luzon, preferably female or feminist. In one small meeting of LP leaders when the matter came up, former Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas wondered why it had to be a problem when Sen. Aquino was right there with them. The suggestion provoked laughter among Roxas, Abad, and Sen. President Franklin Drilon. Little did they know that PNoy would have the last laugh in the end.
Sometime in 2009, Cory suddenly took ill. The conscript media made a big event of the death watch, and prayers and solidarity messages poured in from all over, including from the Pope. Suddenly Cory was getting the media coverage she never got after EDSA, even while she was still in Malacañang. As death came to Cory, something bigger than life came to her son, proving once more the truth in the saying, “So long as there is death, there is hope.”
From out of the blue, the stone rejected by the builders became the cornerstone. PNoy became the presidential candidate, while Mar slid down as his running mate. While Kris Aquino and her showbiz friends turned the wake into an extravaganza, the propaganda pollsters, owned or controlled by close relatives and friends of the bereaved family, suddenly found a new star.
Until then the billionaire-senator Manny Villar had all the propaganda surveys locked in. Gilberto Teodoro, the brightest among the candidates, and Richard Gordon, who has done more in his one term at the Senate or as Olongapo mayor than Aquino in all his nine years as legislator, were kept at a ridiculously low position. They never moved at all.
To finally dispose of Villar, the Aquino camp denounced the Nacionalista candidate as “Villaroyo”–meaning Arroyo’s real candidate, instead of Teodoro. This sent Villar’s rating tumbling down, while Aquino’s numbers shot up. But knowing the real meaning of these numbers, Aquino now aimed for the coup de grace: he said he would win by five million votes, but he would be cheated by Arroyo, so he would call for “people power” to claim the presidency.
Arroyo could not take this lightly. Five years before that, Cory had gone to Malacañang, accompanied by four bishops, to ask Arroyo to resign. Arroyo listened to the bishops, and after they had spoken, said: “Thank you very much, I will think about it, please pray for me.” The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, meeting in plenary at the time, decided it could not ask Arroyo to resign, but that it could not prevent others from asking her to resign, either.
Aquino’s people power threat , supported by the wild propaganda surveys, had a demoralizing effect on the Arroyo camp. They decided to negotiate a modus vivendi with the Aquino camp. They assured Aquino that he could have his five million vote-plurality over his closest rival, provided he would not wage any punitive expedition against Arroyo later. The agreement was brokered and guaranteed by the tycoons and the taipans. And so it came to pass—-the PCOS did its job, and US Ambassador Harry Thomas called on PNoy at his residence on Times Street even before the Congress could finish the count.
It looked like a win-win situation even for GMA for a while. Some of her senatorial candidates who had lost in 2007 for being associated with her, won in 2010 for being associated with her. And despite PNoy’s five million-vote plurality, his number one senator, Frank Drilon, ranked only No. 4. And only one other LP candidate, Teofisto Guingona III “won.”
There was no punitive expedition against Arroyo, in keeping with the purported agreement. But after a while, some people started asking, what and where is the program of this administration? It had none. But PNoy’s Akbayan advisers said, “We have a program. Impeach and remove Corona, send GMA to jail.”
I have tested this story on Manny Villar. He smiled very broadly but refused to confirm or deny. Will GMA, despite her condition, honor us with a confirmation or denial. In any case, many seem convinced this is what happened. PNoy was never elected, and should therefore step down now.