IN WHICH social media networking service did President Benigno Aquino 3rd hear a clamor from netizens for him to be allowed to seek reelection for and win another term?
Our Malacañang reporter writes that at a press conference yesterday Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the clamor has reached the President. And, Sec. Lacierda also said, that because the President “listens to the voice of his bosses” [which he has proclaimed to be “the people”]then it is not yet sure now if he will seek reelection or not.
Mr. Aquino’s deciding to seek re-election will of course depend on the two houses of Congress holding a joint session as a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution and obliterate the one-six-year term limit on any president of the Philippines. It will also depend on this amendment’s being approved by the electorate in a national referendum.
We have no doubt that Congress will quickly hold a constituent assembly and pass the desired Charter change and mobilize all the necessary forces to hold the referendum or plebiscite.
And we have no doubt that the result of the plebiscite will be a resounding victory for the desired constitutional amendment. The landslide victory is assured, not because the majority of the Filipino people will vote to allow Mr. Aquino to have another term, but because the Comelec is an ally of President Aquino. And the Comelec has the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines. These, as in the 2010 and 2013 elections, can be programmed to yield victory for any party or group of candidates or any side in a referendum.
The clamor cannot be heard or read in the most popular social media networking websites–Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, etcetera. That is why we asked at the very outset which social media websites’ clamor has reached the Palace spokesmen’s and then the President’s ears.
What is clear to us is that Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas has spoken of an extension of President Aquino’s rule as the best thing that can happen to our country.
Secretary Lacierda also said yesterday that while President Aquino “has already made his position known on that [extending his term as president], the President also listens to the voice of his bosses [the people]… There are different opinions, with some saying he should continue [being president]. But if you will ask me…the President is sensitive to the voice of his boss. So let’s just wait for that.”
This to us very clearly means that the presidential spokesman could not definitely affirm that President Aquino is against making any moves to extend his term.
Why only a second term?
The fact is that Mr. Aquino wields immense power to get Congress to pass amendments to the Constitution and to have the Comelec use the PCOS machines to return a victory for the amendment in the referendum. It will be incredibly and uncharacteristically moral of them (the President, Secretary Abad, Senate President Drilon and the other members of the cabal making these maneuvers) to allow only one more term for Mr. Aquino. The charter amendment will most likely open the presidency to an unlimited tenure.
The talk of a coup d’etat. The AFP Chief’s lectures to our soldiers to be against a coup and for them to be loyal to Mr. Aquino. The Energy Secretary’s call for the President to use emergency powers to solve the imminent power crisis. These all seem to converge into the big push for a legal, constitutional—if fraudulently PCOS-produced—arrangement to prolong the Aquino-Abad-Drilon-Belmonte regime.
If this happens, our prayer would be for a miracle that turns them into moral, just, competent, patriotic and efficient rulers.