1) IN our statement on April 29, 2016, we expressed serious concern about the probable failure of the May 9, 2016 elections, as a result of the visible efforts of the Commission on Elections, its Venezuelan partner Smartmatic and the various presidential parties to manipulate the electoral process for their own ends.
2) Today, we must confess that even before the voting has begun, the elections have already turned out to be a defective, fraudulent, illegal and illegitimate exercise, which poses an incalculable threat to the security of the State and the wellbeing of the nation.
3) All available evidence shows that the principal cause and instigator of the ongoing electoral manipulations is President B. S. Aquino 3rd himself, in his overriding desire to dictate the results of the presidential and vice presidential contest.
4) In the last several hours, we have learned that nine (9) SD card reconfiguration centers have been set up by yet unidentified parties, without any authorization from the Comelec, and without the knowledge of the political parties and the public, for purposes on which we can only speculate.
5) Earlier, pre-shaded official ballots in favor of a particular presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate were reported to have been retrieved from the National Printing Office, casting serious doubt on the integrity and validity of the bulk of official ballots to be used on May 9.
6) Since the hacking of the Comelec website on March 27, there has been no official effort to explain why the voters’ list attacked by the hackers contained 70 million votes when the official total claimed by the Comelec is only 54.3 million voters.
7) There has been no official effort to assure the public either that the voting system is adequately protected from any further hacking before, during or after the voting.
8) The Comelec has failed to meet the minimum security requirements of Republic Act 9369, otherwise known as the Automated Election System (AES) Law, which concerned citizens had been demanding long before the campaign period.
9) Of the four major security features, which were illegally removed in the 2010 and 2013 elections, only two—the ballot verification feature and the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) or voter receipt—have been restored, to a minimum degree.
10) The source code review has been partially granted, but Smartmatic withheld the review of the all-important ballot security code. Similarly, the digital signatures of the Board of Election Inspectors have been bastardized—they have been replaced with machine signatures, without any third-party authentication.
11) Meanwhile, Smartmatic will have full control and access to the individual personal identification numbers of those to be assigned to the BEIs.
12) Most importantly, the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) created under Republic Act 9369, otherwise known as the Automated Election System (AES) Law, has failed to comply with its specific mandate to certify, through an established international certification entity recommended by the Advisory Council, NOT LATER THAN THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE DAY OF THE ELECTION (MAY 9, 2016), that the AES, including its hardware and software components, is OPERATING PROPERLY, SECURELY AND ACCURATELY, in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
13) This certification should have been issued in early February to comply with the inflexible deadline. However, it was only last week, we are given to understand, that some kind of certification was reported to have been issued by the TEC. This is subject to further verification; but this issuance was long past the deadline and therefore null and void ab initio.
14) Without a valid certification of seaworthiness, a passenger ship may not sail. Without a valid certification of airworthiness, a passenger aircraft may not fly. Without a valid TEC certification, as required by law, the May 9 elections cannot simply push through.
15) We sincerely believe that our sovereign people fervently desire and deserve the most responsive government and the worthiest political leaders to run it. Only a legitimate and legal electoral process untainted by any hint of deception, fraud, chicanery or corruption can ensure this. Yet the exact opposite of it is what is happening right now.
16) We therefore call on our people to reject the illegal and farcical presidential elections, and work for a just, responsive and sustainable alternative to such elections,
17) The nation’s moral and spiritual leadership coming from the Catholic, Protestant/Evangelical and Islamic churches should now enter into immediate consultations with the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), in its institutional capacity as the constitutionally-mandated protector of the people and the State, to determine what concrete steps to take to bring about this alternative.
18) We do not propose a military takeover of government. We are firmly and vehemently opposed to it. But we do not wish to see the military exploited by any political faction to support any program or activity against the national interest.
19) We believe that the Constitution and the rule of law have been totally subverted, and there is a threat to subvert them further still through a plot to install into power the lackeys of Mr. Aquino, or worse, the ideological enemies of the State now posing as peaceful supporters of a popular candidate.
20) We, the people, must thwart these sinister efforts by creating a genuine alternative anchored on the Republic of the Philippines being a God-fearing nation and a democratic and republican State, upon whose standing institutions depend its vitality, vigor and strength.
21) Trusting fully in the love, mercy and wisdom of the Almighty, the National Transformation Council places itself at the service of the above-mentioned two great institutions in building our desired alternative.
Done in Quezon City, Metro Manila, this 7 day of May 2016.
End of NTC statement.
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About the NTC. It says it has no leaders and no financiers, with individuals participating in its work contributing their own funds. The founders are the late Chief Justice Renato Corona, former Defense Chief and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, religious leaders of several faiths including Catholic Archbishops Fernando Capalla of Davao and Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz of Zamboanga City, as well as pastors of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and clerics of the Muslim faith. Some nuns and leaders of religious communities have also been associated with the NTC. Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal gave its keynote address at its founding assembly in Lipa City, called the “Pangmalawakang Pagpulong para sa Pagbabago” (National Assembly for Transformation), two years ago.
In that Lipa assembly, the speakers were former Sen. Francisco Tatad, on the “National Situation and the NTC,” Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, on the “Role of the Church in the Transformational Efforts–EDSA 1,” Davao Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla, on the “Role of the Church in the Transformation Efforts—EDSA 2 and Hyatt 10,” Rev. Pastor Arthur Corpuz, on “The Protestant Movement in the Transformational Efforts,” Dr. Kamil M. Unda, on “The Role of the Muslim Community in National Transformation,” Rev. Fr. Romeo J. Intengan, S.J., on “The Moral Foundation of National Transformation,” former Biliran Rep. Glenn Chong, on the “Mockery of the Electoral Process,” and Archbishop of Lipa Ramon Arguelles on “Regime Change and Revolution Now.”