Mar Roxas should stop clutching at NULL VOTES straws
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-06-06
Ever since the initial results of the May 10 vice presidential election results poured in, Makati Mayor Jojo Binay had posted a lead of anywhere from 700,000 to as much as 900,000 votes. This was the case when the results reflected reporting levels of 25%, 50%, 75% and 90% of actual votes cast.

When a trend was forming by May 12, the camp of Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas claimed that based on their copies of the Certificates of Canvass (CoC) - Mar will win by a small margin of anywhere from 10,000 to slightly over 100,000 votes. The Binay camp countered that what the Mar Roxas camp was doing was to condition the public mind to accept the results of an alleged cheating operation to engineer a Mar Roxas win.

“Mar will eventually win by a small margin” became the mantra of the Mar Roxas camp. However, as the tallies of the Comelec (Commission on Elections) and the PPCRV-KBP (Philippine Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting-Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas) began reaching the 90% level, it became apparent that there was no way Mar Roxas will get the numbers in order to overtake Jojo Binay.

Thus, in the last few days of the Joint Congressional Canvassing, we witnessed the Mar Roxas camp shift to another tack. They’re now desperately trying to look into what are considered NULL VOTES. This is obviously their last resort to get the numbers with which to beat Jojo Binay.

They also hinted at cheating in the ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) where Mar Roxas only got 45,000 votes. They conveniently forgot that Mar Roxas was being junked by the Muslims for his opposition to the aborted Bangsamoro Juridical Entity peace deal and that the Joseph Estrada-Jojo Binay tandem was known to be strong in Mindanao.
With no real basis for looking into the so-called NULL VOTES, the Joint Congressional Canvass majority decided not to allow the pleading of the Mar Roxas camp. Instead, they will finish by tomorrow the five remaining uncanvassed CoCs from Mountain Province, Davao City, Eastern Samar, Lanao del Sur and Bacolod City - hoping to proclaim by Tuesday or Wednesday the new president and vice president of the country.

When the canvassing was adjourned last Thursday, Binay was leading Roxas by over 640,000 votes. Based on the very copies of the Liberal Party, the results of the five uncanvassed CoCs will deliver an additional 68,553 votes to the lead of Binay, as follows:

CoC Binay Roxas

Mt. Province 19,788 21,053

Bacolod City 44,505 135,742

Eastern Samar 73,711 60,029

Lanao del Sur 126,517 25,170

Davao City 278,451 232,465

Total 543,012 474,459

Vote difference +68,553 -68,553

Considering that these figures were from the very CoCs of the Liberal Party, we must wonder what they were talking about when they claimed that Roxas will win the vice presidential race with a margin range of 10,000 to slightly over 100,000 votes. How could they conclude that Roxas will win the vice presidency with such a wide discrepancy from the actual numbers? Would this not suggest that perhaps the Roxas camp was trying to undertake an operation which the Binay camp claimed?

The Mar Roxas camp was citing lawyer Nonong Cruz as the “expert statistician” who was able to note the Roxas win by anywhere from 10,000 to as much as 100,000 votes. The flaw in Nonong’s arithmetic should disqualify him from being appointed to a cabinet post. How can anyone fail to see the over 700,000 vote difference and thus conclude a Roxas victory by 10,000 to slightly over 100,000 votes?

Quite a number of folks have expressed disappointment over the actuations of the Roxas camp in the face of the obvious Binay victory. The Noynoy Aquino-Mar Roxas tandem was bannered as the CLEAN TEAM. The LP tandem’s campaign was founded on KUNG WALANG CORRUPT, WALANG MAHIRAP (there is no poverty where there are no corrupt public officials).

Here, we see a Roxas camp which had claimed that based on their copies of the CoCs, they will win by anywhere from 10,000 to over 100,000 votes. Based on the Liberal Party CoCs, as seen in the results of the five uncanvassed CoCs, Binay will win by over 700,000. This does not only suggest lying but it does tend to suggest that a cheating operation may indeed have been in the works, as alleged by the Binay camp.

Either way, whether by lying or by cheating, this worsens the situation for Mar Roxas. Gilbert Teodoro lost in the presidential race. But the actuations of his lawyer, Romy Macalintal, during the joint canvass — enhances the image of Teodoro as an honest and gracious gentleman. Macalintal, on behalf of his client, has been providing good insights that help facilitate the progress of the canvassing.

Mar Roxas failed to learn the lesson of minimizing the impact of defeat or setback by accepting it with grace. That we will all suffer setbacks in life is a given. How we face those setbacks defines our fitness to become leaders and role models.

Would Gandhi be as great as he is hailed today if not for the setbacks that he underwent and overcame before he brought his people to independence? Would Ninoy Aquino be as great as he is hailed today if not for the setbacks he had to overcome before he finally met his martyrdom on August 21, 1983? Would Nelson Mandela be as great as he is hailed today if not for the setbacks that he too had to endure before his beloved South Africa was liberated from apartheid?

In fact, history tells us that greatness is not about how high you rose but how deep down the black hole of setback and despair you recovered from before attaining the ultimate victory.

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