The Philippines is much too rich a country to be left in the hands of Filipinos. Our foreign friends in the West know this, so they try to free us from the odious task of running our own affairs. They try to run our economy, our politics, our moral and religious code, our basic rights and liberties, even our right to choose our type of elections. They cannot stand it when we say with our Constitution: “The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”
Very few talk of Lincoln’s government of the people, by the people and for the people anymore. Government authority often emanates from those who exercise it. The Hebrew scholar Jacob Leib Talmon invented the oxymoron “totalitarian democracy” to describe a system where the people in principle still choose their leaders but are completely excluded from making the decisions affecting them. This is what PNoy has instituted in the Philippines. He must have had a hearty laugh when he said that we, the people, were his “bosses” and some of us were naïve enough to believe he meant it.
We’re no longer a democracy
Just because we are still free to ask the Supreme Court to strike down as unconstitutional and void any act of Congress or the Executive, even many of us tend to believe we live in an authentic democratic and republican State. It doesn’t follow. To begin with, PNoy was never elected in a legitimate electoral process. The election was conducted by the Venezuelan marketing firm Smartmatic on behalf of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which alone has the constitutional authority to conduct elections. It used the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) voting machine after it had been divested of all security features and accuracy mechanisms, contrary to law. No one has ever been punished or investigated for this deed.
Long before the presidential tribunal could complete its proceedings and proclaim the president-elect, US Ambassador Harry Thomas called on candidate B. S. Aquino 3rd at his residence on Times Street, Quezon City, to congratulate him on his “election.” Then several other Western ambassadors followed. Since 2010, PNoy has assumed virtual control of the three coequal, coordinate branches of government, without any formal declaration of national emergency or martial law, after he had bribed the members of Congress to impeach and remove Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona and forced the enactment of the foreign-dictated law on Reproductive Health.
He has behaved as a faithful puppet to his foreign masters, and an insensitive despot to the Filipino electorate. Listen to the pained testimony of the poor and the victims of natural and man-made calamities. Now that his term is ending by middle of next year, his problem and that of his foreign masters is how to produce an Aquino clone and replicate the electoral proceedings of 2010 and 2013. We cannot afford a clean and honest process.
PNoy needs to be succeeded by someone who would be able to protect him from prosecution and punishment for all his past crimes in office; and one who would welcome all foreign impositions on his government. There are two ways of ensuring this: first, to find a clone who would be completely obedient to the oligarchy and its imperial bosses, and then to make sure that the election itself would remain completely under PNoy’s thumb through Smartmatic.
The attempt to project Sen. Grace Poe as a possible presidential bet by giving her high ratings in her adoptive uncle’s skewed surveys is an obvious first step. Some people see very little psychological or intellectual difference between PNoy and Poe. She could be his clone. Both are heavy smokers, although PNoy seems to consume less alcohol than Poe, and seems to use less cuss words when speaking to his subordinates. But Poe has been lying too much under oath, and could soon face a criminal charge of perjury.
For starters, Poe, who was stateless at birth, being a foundling, is not a natural-born Filipino. This is the first essential requirement for the Senate and the Presidency. It is not known how she first became a Filipino, but early in life she renounced her Filipino citizenship to become a US citizen, long before the law on dual citizenship. Then she renounced her US citizenship in the second quarter of 2012, two years after she became Chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, and less than one year before she ran for the Senate in 2013.
How could Grace Poe ever fly?
In both instances, Poe committed a crime. The MTRCB post requires that the appointee be a Filipino. And running for the Senate requires that one be a natural-born Filipino, and a resident of the country for at least two years immediately preceding the election. On both counts, Grace Poe violated the law. Still, her adoptive uncle’s alleged surveys, including one reportedly taken on a group of CEOs, purportedly continue to show so many ignorant people in favor of making her run for president. This support is being whipped up by oligarchs who seem to believe that Poe’s lack of “natural-born” status could be easily cured by buying members of the Supreme Court, if any could be bought, to rule that two and two no longer makes four but six.
Right now, some concerned parties are preparing to question Grace Poe’s right to sit in the Senate, being merely a naturalized Filipino. But even if the facts and the law were entirely different, and Grace Poe were shown to be a “natural-born Filipino,” questions about her fitness for the presidency would still persist just because her husband is an American and her children are all American. Are we going to have a president with an American family? How would such a president assure the nation that her loyalty and allegiance would be solely to the country?
Therefore, those who are looking for aPNoy clone will have no choice but to drop Grace Poe. This is bad news for the magnates RR, MV, the young politico-billionaire Albee and a few others, who are reported to have already invested several suitcases of goodies in Grace Poe. But they ought to know that it’s not so easy to try to own the country through an unvetted wannabe.
In search of a non-transparent election
PNoy’s next step is to make sure that the electoral process stay as opaque as it was in 2010 and in 2013. He is probably still ahead. For the best part of last year through the whole of this year, the National Transformation Council has been pounding on the need for a thoroughly overhauled electoral system as a conditio sine qua non for the holding of the 2016 elections. No reform, no election. Better a transitory council to oversee system change before embarking on another election.
No known presidential aspirant ever joined this call. None of them, in fact, are demanding transparency as a necessary feature of the next election. For one brief shining moment, the proponents of an alternative voting system seemed to believe there was a chance for reform when they were allowed to make a presentation of what they have. This was after the Supreme Court disqualified Smartmatic’s bid to refurbish the 81,000 old PCOS machines at P1.6 billion because of its failure to comply with the national procurement law.
But not long thereafter, the Comelec reconsidered its position, and qualified Smartmatic to bid anew for the refurbishment of the old machines. Yet Smartmatic refused to bid anew for the 81,000 old PCOS machines, but instead offered a bid for lease of 93,977 units of the Optical Mark Reader, a new variant of the PCOS, at the cost of P12,641 billion. So instead of a less costly election without Smartmatic in the picture, 2016 promises to be even more expensive, with Smartmatic occupying a stronger role.
Enter Mark Malloch-Brown
How did all this happen? It looks like the effort to control the 2016 Philippine presidential elections has become a major big-powers operation. In November 2014, Antonio Mugica, Smartmatic CEO and co-founder, brought in George Soros’s well-known collaborator, George Mark Malloch-Brown, as chairman of the new joint venture SGO, which they launched based on Smartmatic’s “successful worldwide operation.” Last month, Malloch-Brown came to the Philippines and met with one of PNoy’s sisters, and the Comelec commissioners while they were deliberating on Smartmatic’s previous disqualification.
Malloch-Brown is not a new name to the Philippines. In 1986, as lead international partner of the US consulting firm Sawyer-Miller Group, he played a secret role in Cory Aquino’s presidential campaign against Marcos, just as he played a similar role in the campaign against Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and in Mario Vargas Llosa’s unsuccessful presidential bid in Peru in 1990. He is said to have principally ghost-written Cory Aquino’s speech to the US Congress on her triumphant visit to Washington, DC in 1986.
Together with the billionaire speculator Soros, he played a role in Georgia’s “Rose revolution” in 2003, when student protesters forced Eduard Shevardnadze out of office, in a bloodless coup, after having ruled Georgia for 30 years. Starting as a political correspondent for the Economist, Malloch-Brown was at one time Deputy Secretary General of the UN, UK Minister of State for Africa, Asia, and the UN in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, development specialist at the World Bank, and Administrator of the UN Development Program.
On July 9, 2007, the Queen of England made him a life peer as Baron Malloch-Brown of St. Leonard’s Forest in the county of West Sussex. That same year he became vice president of Soros’s Quantum Fund Management and Open Society Institute.
From the enemy of ‘dictators’ to a supporter of one?
From a long history of working against rightist regimes, Malloch-Brown will now be tasked to help keep alive in the 2016 election the inept dictatorship which PNoy has tried to impose on the Philippines since 2010. Is that how badly the devil wants to own the Filipino people? But the real test for Smartmatic will come from a series of court challenges which are set to be filed against the firm starting today.
The bishops against Smartmatic
Together with former Biliran Congressman Glenn Chong, Protestant Pastors Arthur Corpuz and Greco Belgica, I will be joining eight Catholic bishops and archbishops in a petition before the Supreme Court for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order, seeking to assail and stop the unconstitutional juggling of billions of pesos in public funds by the Comelec in order to lease (with the option to purchase) 93.977 OMR units at P12.641 billion, in gross violation of the 2015 General Appropriations Act, the Constitution, and the rulings of the Supreme Court, to the injury and insult to the Filipino people.
The eight clerics include Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa; Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz of Zamboanga; Archbishop Rolando Tirona of Caceres; Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao; Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz of the CBCP National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal; Bishop Ramon Villena of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos of Butuan; and Bishop Filomeno Bactol of Naval, Biliran. Other petitions are expected to follow in the next few days. Let’s see how Lord Malloch will respond to these challenges.