NO LESS than President Rodrigo Duterte himself ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to get rid of Smartmatic’s vote-counting machines and look for a better replacement in preparation for the 2022 elections. He did the announcement in public during a recent diplomatic visit to Japan. This was captured live by mainstream international media.
The President has all the reasons for his call. He was a victim of electoral fraud in 2016; he was deprived of more than a million votes despite his presidential victory.
Unfortunately, vice presidential candidate and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., popularly known as BBM, lost by a hairline, so to speak, to Leni Robredo, a Liberal Party bet, under very questionable circumstances. The latter, a complete unknown became a subject of public upheaval.
Marcos didn’t take this sitting down. He filed an electoral protest at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) contesting the victory of his rival. Though some well-meaning friends advised Bongbong to file his protest through an impeachment process which is more practical and economical, Bongbong instead sought the intervention of PET that he believes are dominated by men and women of integrity and who could give him a fair and unbiased trial.
Unknown to BBM this would be the start of his emotional agony and torturous quest for truth. For one, heading the electoral protest is Judge Alfredo Caguioa, an Aquino appointee.
Bongbong paid the price for his electoral protest. The amount is so enormous it could possibly make any protestor a pauper. But with the help of friends he was able to raise the amount just on time within the duration of the protest period after Robredo was proclaimed the winner.
At present, Robredo is comfortably enjoying being the second most powerful official of the country. She is euphoric of her status without feeling any guilt. She believes it was the Divine Providence that put her there.
It has been three years since June 2016 from the time BBM filed his electoral protest, and the PET is yet to release its verdict. What’s taking it so long is beyond comprehension. People suspect there is hanky-panky.
The recent pronouncement of President Duterte indicates personal knowledge that poll cheating is real. There was cheating in 2013, 2016 and 2019 elections.
The stance of President Duterte boosted the moral of losing senatorial candidate Atty. Glenn Chong who initiated the call of getting rid Smarmatic’s machines a long time ago.
Recently, he called Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez a cheat right on his face. The latter got tongue-tied, froze and failed to react. (firstname.lastname@example.org/PN)