The uppers and downers
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-06-01

This discussion of uppers and downers is about the recent scenes we’ve been exposed to on national television regarding the House of Representatives’ hearing on possible election cheating which is being conducted by Suffrage Committee Chairman Makati Representative Teddyboy Locsin and the on-going joint congressional canvass on the presidential and vice presidential elections.

There is little doubt that the poll automation was successful. It could have been done better but then it delivered what it was supposed to do which is to report immediately the voting results. No more than four days after the elections, we already knew that Noynoy Aquino will be the next president of the Philippines. No more than eight days after the elections, it was only Mar Roxas and some members of the Liberal Party who did not know that Jojo Binay will be the next vice president and the first Black vice president of the Philippines. In less than three weeks after the elections, all 12 winning Senators have already been proclaimed.

Up to May 12 or two days after the elections, almost everybody was congratulating the Comelec (Commission on Elections) and its automation supplier Smartmatic, Inc. for accomplishing what they promised. In fact, many of the gainsayers of the AES (Automated Election System) were even eating humble pie and gamely expressed their apologies.

We can consider all these as uppers which we’ve long yearned to experience after nine disappointing years under the misrule of Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) and its controversial elections of 2004 and 2007. These developments buoyed up our sagging national spirit and the entire nation was overcome by an abundant feeling of hope by the new leadership. The Philippine stock market positively reflected the election results. Businessmen were upbeat about the economy under the new Aquino administration. Optimism returned to the land. Even the Ambassadors of other countries were trying to race with each other in being the first to call on our new president.

But then the downers, the election losers, started emerging like cockroaches. One tall tale after another was being narrated on media by bellyachers who also happen to have been predicted by the credible polls as likely losers. Thus it has happened again that in Philippine elections, there are only two outcomes — there are those who won and those who were allegedly cheated.

My Kumpadre, Senator Manny Villar, was exemplary for being the first to concede defeat to Noynoy Aquino and even offered to assist the new administration. Manny Villar also didn’t bother to join the chorus of losers in claiming that they were cheated. That made my Kumpadre a big winner.

In contrast, there were the Three Stooges remake in Curly Jamby, Larry Nicky and JC Moe who all painted a pathetic picture of themselves in claiming that there was massive electronic fraud. They could not even muster enough votes to win a municipal election and they were casting doubts on the results of the national elections, results which were consistent with the credible exit polls.

It was a time for TV cartoons. A Koala character soon emerged to narrate another version of the cheating tall tale. As if on cue, losers in the senatorial, congressional and local races chimed in chorus, expressing laments for being victims of alleged electronic cheating — all seeking justice and remedies to their claimed rape of democracy.

Thanks to the able chairmanship of Representative Teddyboy Locsin, the woeful losers were exposed for what they were — whiners and peddlers of fiction. Thanks too for the valuable and timely insights shared by Parañaque Representative Roy Golez, the House hearing was steered towards the right direction and issues were clarified.

On the joint congressional canvassing of votes for the presidential and vice presidential races, Maguindanao Representative Digs Dilangalen behaved like a blocked sphincter and almost constipated the entire process. Thanks to the able steering of Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile and Speaker Prospero Nograles, the canvass finally got underway last Thursday.

Dilangalen’s actuations did not prove that there was a failure of election. Rather, it merely cast aspersions on the automation process without proving anything and demonstrated a failure of democracy. While every voice has the right to be heard in a democracy, Dilangalen showed that this right to be heard needs to be tempered with a rule as to when that voice should be told to SHUT UP. When the overbearing voice of one stifles the opinion of others or blocks the wishes of the majority, then tyranny replaces democracy.

Of course, in the case of Dilangalen, this is not the first time he has been told to SHUT UP. The first time around, which was widely covered by media, he should have learned to temper his inclination to talk like he had a franchise to the microphone. Perhaps, the only SHUT UP command that Dilangalen recognizes is the same version that was applied to the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre.

The nation has listened to your points beyond the limits of reasonable human tolerance, Representative Dilangalen. We’re neither stupid nor idiots. We know that you’re just a sore loser trying to spoil this celebration of democracy. It’s time for you to SHUT UP.

* * *

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo