MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/07 June) – Some candidates –and their supporters — just find it hard to accept the people’s will. Liberal Party’s Manuel Roxas II is one of them. He and his mouthpieces, chief among them Florencio Abad, seem not to run out of excuses for his debacle. At best, their claims and arguments rely on selective use of facts, i.e. only the facts that suit their purpose.
At the time the partial results released by the Commission on Elections showed Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay leading Roxas by some 800,000 votes, Abad and other LP officials remained upbeat that their bet would surmount the lead once the votes from his bailiwicks came in. They even claimed that based on the certificates of canvass they had – which they never showed to media – Roxas was going to win by a hairline, by their own estimate, around the vicinity of 200,000 or less.
It turned out to be a bluff. As the canvassing done by Congress would show, Binay won the vice presidential race, period. In response, Roxas’ lawyers wanted the null votes counted. Gentlemen, please, it does not take a Shakespeare to tell us what “null” means.
Failing to make Congress bite the bait, the Roxas camp found another excuse. They’re now saying Roxas lost because he was a victim of dagdag-bawas (vote padding/shaving) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Desperate men are prone to commit serious lapses in judgment and to issue incoherent, if not downright stupid, statements. From the LP’s optimistic posturing when Binay’s lead had surged to the dagdag-bawas claim the desperation and incoherence shows.
The LP’s allegation of dagdag-bawas in the ARMM that supposedly victimized Roxas raises several questions that, unless answered satisfactorily, make it simply another case of “sour-graping”. Who orchestrated the electronic cheating and how was it done in such a manner that affected only the results of the vice presidential contest? The administration? If so, why did it not cheat Sen. Beningo Aquino III, too? Is the Arroyo clique comfortable with Aquino as president but not with Roxas as vice president? If the administration did it, then why did it not commit the supposed crime in favor of its anointed candidates?
Why was there dagdag-bawas only for vice president and none for the other positions? Are they implying that the dagdag-bawas operators worked out an Aquino-Binay victory? That’s giving too much credit to Sen. Francis Escudero. Are they also saying that the surveys showing Aquino and Binay as the likely winners were grossly inaccurate? Or that only those figures that favored Aquino were acceptable? They could not discredit the results of the vote for vice president in the ARMM without discrediting that for president.
The LP buttressed its dagdag-bawas allegations with claims that voter turnout was “unusually high,” 97 percent, in some places, including Maguindanao, where Binay won. But Maguindanao election supervisor Renault Macarambon said that the turnout in Maguindanao was only 67 percent. Now, which is true in this case, the dagdag or the bawas in percentage? I have more reason to believe in Macarambon.
If Roxas lost miserably in the ARMM, he only has himself to blame for it. He should go back to August 2008, when he issued rabid statements against the botched Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Roxas himself knew he was likely to lose [in that region]. Reports said he called up Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu of Buluan, Maguindanao, who was a candidate for governor, on the eve of the elections to ask for help.
A sincere apology to the Moro people would have helped more. But Roxas, believing his anti-MOA-AD and anti-Moro posturing had cemented the Christian vote for him, was not expected to do that. As if the Christian voters are so myopic they would vote based on that factor alone. I could hear some MILF leaders muttering ‘sweet vengeance, ex-future, Mr. Vice President, Sir.”
Abad and company should name suspects and witnesses and present evidence how they carried out the alleged dagdag-bawas and not dish out sweeping generalities. Otherwise, they will look just like the “koalas” who I believe were hired by sore losers. Never mind the receding hairline. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at [email protected])