Going the way of all flash: Leni can choose her wild


    She blinked.

    Leni Robredo could not have picked a time more wrong than when on Thursday last week she declared, reportedly through her camp’s spokesman, that Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., her main rival in the vice presidential race, could only win against her if the official tally by the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) was rigged.

    The presumption, reckless as it was audaciously irresponsible, was a slap in the face of the NBOC, or the House of Representatives and the Senate that will convene in a joint session on Tuesday to start counting from Certificates of Canvass or COC the votes from the recently concluded local and national elections.

    Robredo’s apparently unfounded fears should be properly assuaged by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. assuring on May 21 to carry out their “bounden duty and on my part it is something very important to me to see that the [canvassing]is done objectively, expeditiously and differences in political affiliation will make no difference to me.”

    In the run-up to the synchronized polls, the administration’s vice presidential candidate, also a lawmaker representing the First District of Camarines Sur in Congress, was the epitome of grace under pressure, a shrinking violet even who took much too long to decide if she wanted to become the running mate of Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd.

    But, after an official from technology provider Smartmatic to the 2016 elections introduced a new script to the transparency server of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) around 10 p.m. on May 9 in an unauthorized move that was anyway described as “cosmetic,” she blossomed into a desert wild rose, calling Marcos a sore loser when the software change saw her inexplicably overtaking the senator by 200,000 votes or thereabouts.

    Before that hour, the senator had enjoyed an advantage of at least one million votes over the congresswoman, raising eyebrows and suspicions as well that the votes were manipulated when everybody and his uncle were dozing off.

    With a hint of a doubt that Robredo and Marcos himself cannot possibly be protagonists anymore in a fair battle, the LP presidential bet stopped gloating about her becoming the country’s first woman ”Vice President.”

    But the damage to her supposed reputation has been done and, consequently, out went the window the steely mien she projected until Election Day, and perhaps reducing her apparent frugality manifested by those bus trips to and from Naga City into a mere PR stunt lifted straight from the Ramon Magsaysay chronicle about the “common tao.”

    Then, Robredo further unraveled after questions were raised by the Marcos camp, a political analyst and IT experts on the mysterious and supposedly statistically impossible catching up that the congresswoman managed to pull off while everybody was already sleeping when the apparent tampering with the command for the server was made.

    Referring to her top opponent as a poor political sport was premature, with many quarters, including her own Liberal Party, through Belmonte, admitting that the contest for Vice President was too close to call.

    At this writing, the Speaker’s view resonates even among the most vocal critics of Marcos, except of course President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who on May 19 told The Wall Street Journal, “So the rejection of his version of reality is very gratifying,” referring to Marcos, who during the political campaign had opted not to be drawn into talks about the administration of his father, late former President Ferdinand Marcos.

    Aquino was actually saying he was happy that the senator was “beaten” by Robredo (you can’t get any more Christian than that, can you?).

    With the President as a role model, it is then no surprise for the congresswoman from Bicol to come off as a “victor” on the verge who will take no prisoners.

    In contrast, the “non-winner” in the younger Marcos chose, in an ironic twist, to take the daang matuwid or straight path (touché!) of bringing his concerns about possible irregularities that may have been caused by the script change in the Comelec’s transparency server.

    Daang matuwid, of course, is the Aquino administration’s good governance mantra that is apparently observed more in the breach and not just by Aquino himself (hello DAP, hello PDAF!).

    The senator was not even alleging cheating but that the Comelec could perhaps consider conducting a forensic examination of the votes from the May 9 balloting, particularly those from the vice presidential derby, to see if the Smartmatic guy who “breached protocol” by interfering with the poll body’s server could have unwittingly caused the numbers to favor Robredo.

    A win is a deserved win if it is untainted and Robredo had better let the people judge her just like what the Romans did with Caesar’s wife.

    Or she could go the way of Florence Griffith Joyner, endearingly called Flo Jo by her fans, who won three gold medals in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

    The toast of the Olympiad and the track and field world after winning the 100 meter and 200 meter sprints and the 4×100 meter relay, there, however, were speculations that she was not entirely “clean.”

    Or Robredo could also go the way of Michelle Smith.

    Michelle who?


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      David Meyer, why the wailing? There is absolutely zero evidence of fixing. You’ve just had the fair election you write about. I’m sorry that you don’t like the result. When will people stop playing the ‘we were cheated’ card when things go against them. Man up David! Man up Bongbong!


      Sure, Ysa, it’s a commentary. A personal view is expected. Totally one-sided misrepresentation of the facts is not. The ‘commentary’ is a disgrace. It does not in any way represent responsible journalism. It reads just like political propaganda.

    3. Daang Matuwid ba yan? Karma lang yn. Ngayong wala ka na sa poder, hintayin mo ang kulungan m..

    4. David Michael Meyer on

      We are all left in a quandary …What is going to happen now? –Will this go to the supreme court?..if the machines can so easily be “fixed” ..Where does this leave us .
      ..We the people ,,Do we ever get afair election here .

      .Votes being bought; machines being fixed …Where does corruption end ?..Does it extend throughout our society..Do we want our grandchildren to inherit this type of society.?..Where the rich and powerful can do virtually what they like ..When the law turns a blind eye to those who do not have money ..

      .The statue of justice eyes are covered ..Here in the philippines, does it mean she only sees the crime done by the poor and defenceless…

      When does it stop!..We see this corruption infecting the whole of our society

      .The famous nineteenth century Philosopher Emile Durkheim ..Talks about the division of labour,,,Here ; he explores the notion of reciprocity ..Without which,he says the mortar that holds our society together,crumble

      If we cannot rely on each other to do an honest job to the best of our abilities ..The division of labour fails; the mortar crumbles –the bricks of our society fall apart …We are left in ruins

      ;Is this what we want for or grandchildren..Ruins ?..

      Are we so short sighted that we can only see what we can get now? ..Not what we are doing in the long term ? ..Are we going to sacrifice our future ..For a short term gratification?

      Our nations heroes died so we could have a better society,,Did they Die n Vain ?

      Dr David Michael Meyer PhD Psych)

    5. Hector David on

      If she won honestly ..she should support all tests to verify if it was fairly counted. …not bank on her current advantage .. for her to claim victory in spite of heavy doubts as to the fairness of the process only proves that she is AFRAID OF AN HONEST COUNT

    6. That Roberdo speaks like naive!!Only Government in power could rig an election…I believe as well everything goes well to the LP plan to install her in No. 2!!Manual counting should start on ER’s right after the transmission when the Script was change!!I believe there were lot of hocus focus there, and everything is ironed out!!

    7. What happened, Mulong? Why is the pro-people’s propagandist you once were now a Marcos apologist? Is this why you have not bothered to reply to the emails I sent to you?

    8. Jojo Ventura on

      Romy P. Mariñas, Senior Copy Editor of the Manila Times is a “BIG COPY CAT” – he is exactly imitating or repeating a well-known occurrence or one that closely imitates or mimics another. What a shame!!!

    9. Sam De Asis on

      The Comelec admitted that the job done by SmartMatic was only ‘cosmetic’. Yes, they applied a big cosmetic job on Leni Robredo face/personality: from a simple housewife-congresswoman to an audaciously irresponsible and presumptuous woman now. Also, if she only rides by bus to Bikol why is it that she is the biggest election spender among the VP candidates to the tune of about 400 million pesos?

      • The columnist and the above writer are BBM fanatics. Leni is not an ordinary housewife like Corazon Aquino. Leni is a long time lawyer public defender. A congresswomen for a few years. She rides the bus as a matter of choice but you guys are so stupid to comment on this . She rides the bus weekly on a regular basis. Ave you seen BBM rides a bus on a regular basis ? If you guys want to comment, it has to be factual and avoid being bias. It is ugly , is smells like a dead fish if you know what I mean.

    10. This Romy Marinas article so biased that it deserves no place in any newspaper that purports to be presenting a balanced picture of events as they occur.

      The Leni Robredo team simply drew attention to the figures after votes had been counted, She did not gloat but was clearly proud to have won. These figures said Robredo was ahead and Marcos had lost. They were not her figures; they were the figures produced from the voting machines. Incontrovertible evidence not wild speculation.

      Marcos did not do anything even vaguely related to the straight path. He just blustered about overnight cheating because he saw that he had lost. Sorry Mr. Marinas but you need to stick to the facts. Don’t let your prejudices interfere with balanced reporting.

      • I agree with you wholeheartedly. People that doesn’t understand software developing knows everything about the trouble shooting in software. Just imagine this Smartmatic company will risk their reputation in rigging the election for Robredo. Really! I think this time BBM just ended his Political career. He will be remembered as the SORE LOSER!