On May 9, we are mandated to elect new leaders of our government. But for the first time in our history, growing signs of an emerging failure of elections tend to outweigh our hopes for their peaceful and orderly conduct and favorable results.
Consider the following:
1) First, the voters’ list has been hacked. This has been called the greatest hacking in our digital age. But the hackers’ crime against the Commission on Elections is overshadowed by a far more grievous crime against our people—the deliberate padding of the voters’ list, from the officially declared total of 54.3 million voters to 70 million voters.
2) Those responsible for this must go to jail. But not even this can allow the elections to simply continue. Why not? Because the Comelec has only one official voters’ list. And that list has been corrupted. Without an uncorrupted voters’ list, there can be no clean, honest, transparent and credible elections.
3) Second, the Comelec and its Venezuelan partner Smartmatic have not restored all the security, safety and accuracy provisions of the vote counting machine, which had been illegally removed from it during the 2010 and 2013 automated elections.
4) In response to insistent demand, they had agreed to provide a voters’ verification paper audit trail (VVPAT) or voter’s receipt. But this is merely a grudging and token compliance, which was quickly put to the test during its initial run at the overseas absentee voting.
5) Third, the rival presidential camps all seem to believe they cannot prevent the Comelec and Smarmatic from rigging the elections for their chosen candidates. So they appear to have decided to simply develop their own respective capabilities—to cheat the cheaters.
6) This may have created a situation where no major presidential candidate is likely to accept the proclamation of any rival candidate as president-elect. Trouble appears inevitable, if not imminent.
7) Fourth, certain presidential camps are reported to have embarked upon advanced preparations to pursue the electoral struggle “by other means,” should they lose.
8) Certain armed groups, notably those on the left, are reported to have joined forces with them, in preparation for a violent uprising should the situation require it.
9) Such incidents as those involving the farmers in Kidapawan and the Lumads in other parts of Mindanao are reportedly being exploited to recruit potential armed partisans.
10) The situation appears to be particularly explosive, especially in certain parts of Mindanao.
11) Fifth, as the day of the election nears, the political campaign assumes an increasingly frightening character.
12) There seems to be a flagrant inversion of values in which evil is applauded and celebrated wildly, while that which is sacred, true, good, and beautiful is laughed at and scorned by some popular idols and the mob that follows them blindly.
13) This is a perversion we must resist with all our minds, with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our strength. We are a democratic and republican state. Sovereignty resides in us, the people, and all government authority emanates from us. But we derive our authority from God.
14) We cannot build a human society or a democratic and republican state whose foundation does not rest on God. And we cannot have a government or a leader whose purpose is to take the Filipino nation away from God or against God.
15) From its very inception on the 29th of April, five years ago, the National Transformation Council has proclaimed that the salvation of our country and people lies in system change, and that such change must be based on our filial relationship with our Creator-God, the majesty of the Constitution, the rule of law, the purification of faith and reason, and the moral and religious character of our people.
16) In this time of testing and trial, we call on our people to support the holding of the election if it fulfils or supports the above objective. Otherwise, if it leads us in the opposite direction, we call on them to reject the flawed electoral process, and join us in our search for, and construction of a just and worthy democratic alternative.
Quezon City, 29 April 2016