“Duterte has brought about the conditions favorable for the rise of the legal mass protest movement as well as of the more potent armed revolutionary mass movement.”
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has pronounced the elections a “success” even as it still faces a growing outcry for explanations and a possible postponement of the proclamation of “winning” senatorial bets and partylists. The Comelec has yet to provide answers to questions ranging from the “transparency” server that failed to work at the crucial hours, to the mathematically improbable behavior of votes being tallied, to persistent and worsening cases of glitches and malfunctions, down to its refusal to take actions against violations of election rules committed against the opposition and the progressive groups.
All these are par for the course, based on the “predictions” of Jose Maria Sison, founding chairperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“As I have pointed out, he has to rig the elections because he has the power and the criminal personality and motivation to do so,” Sison said.
Prior to the May 13 elections, Sison enumerated the ways in which the Duterte administration would effect the election rigging. He said “most important of all” these is the administration’s complete control of the Comelec and the deputization of military and police personnel for electoral functions.
Indeed, as the Comelec proceeds with canvassing of the vote, protests are building up in front of the canvassing center and the headquarters of the Comelec. The election watchdog KontraDaya is calling on the people to go to the Philippine International Convention Center PICC (where the national canvassing is happening) on Friday (May 17), to protest “the worst automated election ever.”
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, meanwhile, has called for the suspension of proclamation of winning candidates in the national level until the allegations of fraud are probed and resolved.
Trends in Comelec canvassing have only reinforced suspicions that an electronic dagdag-bawas (vote shaving/padding) may be happening, and it doesn’t help that the public has no way of knowing how or if their votes are really the votes that are being added up.
Reports of election fraud, inconsistencies, have also been coming in from all over the country, including names of administration candidates like Christopher “Bong” Go, Ronaldo “Bato” dela Rosa, and others magically appearing on receipts of voters who did not vote for them.
“The rigging also included the deployment of huge amounts of public and private funds to generate propaganda in various forms in favor of the regime and against the opposition, the use of the military and police for redtagging, mass intimidation, selective murders and splitting the opposition, extended martial law in Mindanao and declaration of trouble spots in Luzon and the Visayas,” Sison said.
Various commentators have said Duterte has thrown the playbook on usual presidential behavior during midterm elections. He and his family campaigned on all media for their slate and for their chosen partylists.
“He is driven like crazy to rig the elections by all means within his power,” Sison said in a statement.
At stake for President Duterte in this elections is control of the Senate, the lone institution that has so far eluded his consolidation. He is believed to hold sway in the Lower House, and he has previously already gotten rid of Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno.
Duterte’s intent is clear to his critics. Once he gains control of the Senate, his scheme is to establish a full- blown fascist dictatorship, by scrapping the 1987 constitution under the pretext of shifting to federalism; preventing his possible impeachment, or possible arrest and prosecution before the International Criminal Court “for his gross and systematic human rights violations, especially the mass murder of suspects in his bogus war on drugs as well as in his war on the people’s revolutionary movement,” Sison said.
Now that the elections had been rigged and Duterte’s senatorial slate is within his reach, if he can get past the growing protests, Sison said there is to be no break nor honeymoon. “Duterte will use his false electoral victory to adopt and implement more draconian measures to suppress the legal democratic opposition as well as the people’s revolutionary movement,” Sison warned.
And that is where Duterte is bound to meet his end, Sison said. Fact checkers recall a similar case in history and takes consolation from the fact that in the first case, the offending ruler was ousted. Similar to what the present-day Comelec tallied this week, in the 1978 election under the Marcos fascist dictatorship, the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) which was led by Imelda Marcos, won 91 percent of the seats of the national legislative body.
Socio-economic and political crisis in the Philippines will only worsen, as a result, and that, said Sison, will further drive the Duterte regime to commit crimes against the people and will at the same time incite the people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants to fight back.
Sison added that while Duterte may have succeeded in rigging the elections to swing a false victory, his own actions and polices will eventually cause his regime’s downfall. Sison said Duterte’s policies and acts of tyranny, treason, mass murder, plunder and swindling will eventually bring about the people’s resistance that is strong enough to end his rule.
“Duterte has brought about the conditions favorable for the rise of the legal mass protest movement as well as of the more potent armed revolutionary mass movement,” Sison said.
He estimated that if the elections had been clean and honest, it would have allowed the opposition senatorial candidates to win and frustrate Duterte’s greed for power and plunder. Reforms would have prevented protests.