Chances are by the time this column sees print, the Comelec may have decided that the idea of having a parallel manual count is an exercise in futility. Of course the Comelec has to be proper in its actions and its language. But just in case some holdouts decide to put up a fight, here’s my take on it.
Quite frankly the idea of having a parallel count of the election results is the equivalent of suggesting we practice “polygamy” in the Philippines just to make sure everyone is happy!
Just because the automated system is new and untested does not automatically mean it will fail. Fact of the matter is most, if not all our “manual elections” have been subject to doubt and cheating. A parallel manual count would be like re-infecting the patient while trying to cure him. I would rather fail at something “NEW” than commit the same mistake all over again.
Assuming we did go along with this ludicrous idea, whose count do we follow as the legitimate result if the results came out differently? Of course critics will attack anything government presents, but who will believe government if they question the parallel count?
Let’s push the envelope further. If a difference does result in the counting, what do we do next? Do we do a recount? Do we conduct another election? And given the doubt cast by one group upon another, whom do we go to, to officiate or stand in judgment of the process?
Whatever intentions people may have, WE must collectively start thinking of “collective consequence” when we make suggestions or statements that can have very serious impact.
For instance, I could not believe how a candidate for Senator from the Visayas, publicly stated that their party would stage another “People Power” if they believe that they were cheated or if there was a “failure of elections”.
That scares me!
In a country where it is S.O.P or second nature for losers to say they were cheated when in fact they lost, such a threat reminds me of “anarchists” looking for an excuse to start a riot! Imagine how one loser or a party of losers could end up convincing us to destroy the priceless legacy of “People Power” and in one declaration try to turn us into a nation of losers just like them!
I’m sure he was so proud of himself for his political bravura, but I wonder if he ever considered what could actually happen in such a scenario?
Filipinos should spend a little time studying the politics of Thailand to learn that such political agitation by a few can quickly turn things into a very dangerous situation. People have been killed time and again, government and administrations destabilized and rendered useless, a robust economy hitting a standstill, and military rule becoming the only option.
Any person or political party that selfishly espouses civil disobedience, rebellion or rejection of established authority based on perception or political strategy, have no right to public opinion or public office.
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For the first time in recent memory, specific media organizations or companies have been publicly accused of taking sides or almost openly supporting particular candidates for President.
The criticism has focused primarily on the established belief that “media” or the “press” should remain independent and unbiased and should not support any political candidate in whatever shape or form.
Beyond reacting to public sentiment, the guilty parties should carefully study their current posturing because not only is it a question of ethics, fairness or independence.
Being good business investments, many media outfits are also publicly listed companies, or have outside shareholders who have bought into the company and its business.
By exposing their choice or support for one candidate versus others, these media companies place the company at risk. They may be “good businesses” but they don’t have good management. I remember distinctly a conversation I had with one such CEO who complained why the bosses of a certain conglomerate had not defied or taken up the fight against the Arroyo administration?
There I was, talking to this US trained CEO and it shocked me that he did not even stop to consider that CEOs of publicly listed companies don’t have the right and much less the authority to politicize their position or the corporations they run because at the end of the day, they answer to shareholders.
Regardless of your politics, personal sentiment or how much of the company your family owns, once you sell shares to the public you are answerable to them and then to government.
Once and for all, the public particularly investors such as banks, retirees or fund managers should put their foot down on the excesses of CEOs and corporate officials who place publicly listed companies at risk due to their political or personal grudge with government, politicians or organizations who may get back at the Brats in the Boardroom but end up hurting the innocent investors!
Before we experience the same things that happened in the West, it is about time that we push for accountability and restraint on the part of CEOs and managing directors who act like they’re the only owners of the company! Majority or not, you’re still an employee and subject to government censure, even media! –Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star)