March 21, 2010
The warning made by a Malacanang spokesperson that a failure of elections could lead to a military junta is a veiled endorsement of an Arroyo holdover, according to the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.The militant group also expressed the belief that credible polls would be a difficult achievement so long as Arroyo is in power.
“The subtext of the warning is that if you do not want a military junta in the event of a failure of elections, then you should accept an Arroyo holdover or extension. They’d want us to believe that an Arroyo extension is a better option than a military takeover,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“It is indeed worrisome that such warnings are emanating from the Palace itself. Malacanang is the biggest source of destabilization right now. All decisions from the president are suspect and are believed to be tied to her political survival post-June 30,” Reyes added.
Bayan said that protest actions against the possible failure of elections and maneuvers to keep Arroyo in power will continue next week as rallies have been planned in Manila.
“The last line of defense against election failure is not the police and military. These institutions are somehow already compromised and corrupted by the regime. The last line of defense would be people power. The people must be ready to mobilize. The competing political parties must be able to unite in the event of failed elections,” Reyes said.
Bayan said that recent developments have seriously undermined the people’s belief that credible elections are still possible in May 10. These include the appointment of an Arroyo loyalist as AFP chief of staff, the Supreme Court decision allowing Mrs. Arroyo to appoint the next chief justice, and the lingering problems with the automated election system and the absence of contingency plans.
“Malacanang wants the people to be uncertain about the polls. The want to float the idea that the only thing certain, the only thing stable would be an Arroyo presidency,” Reyes said.
“Once there is a failure of elections, Arroyo and the Comelec would no longer be in a position to preside over new credible elections thereafter. Credible elections are becoming a remote possibility so long as Arroyo is in Malacanang. She will not stop with her maneuvers that seek to undermine the outcome of the polls,” Reyes said.
Renato Reyes Jr.. Secretary-General, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)