An Old Failed Scheme
By Erick San Juan
It was almost a year ago when then National Security Adviser, Norberto Gonzales announced his proposal for a transition government which he called National Transition Council to be implemented prior to the May 2010 elections. Since day one that he became part of the loop of PGMA, he has been espousing for such a transition government. Gonzales even espoused for a provisional government with a selected shadow cabinet ready as printed in several newspapers. In so many fora that he was the guest speaker, he's parroting the same idea. (Are the confluence of events in the recent past and up to this moment still revolve around this idea?)
Then again in June of last year, he warned of an impending chaos come 2010 elections due to the possible failure of the country’s first poll automation. Gonzales suggested that the Comelec should have back-up plans. In lieu of a possible breakdown of the computers, he recommended the open election system (OES). He noted that some modern countries use OES or semi-automated election system. For Gonzales, OES is not only the most practical election scheme but the one most fit for our nation today and the most transparent one.
Gonzales was named as acting secretary of the Department of National Defense in November 2009 replacing Gilbert Teodoro who is running as PGMA's presidential candidate and now the Chairman of Lakas-Kampi-CMD for the May 2010 elections. Amidst the negative feedback from different sectors against the appointment of Sec. Gonzales as DND chief, Mrs. Arroyo stood firm in her decision. Speculations were raised by various camps that this move by the president will actually benefit her administration just in case the poll automation fails. As the 2010 elections is fast approaching, statements coming from the DND head has created problems instead of solutions and division among institutions. Some columnists even wrote that the statements from Gonzales should be treated as non-news, (like the possibility that there will be no automated voting in 20 to 30 percent of the polling areas because of the problem of transmission.)
In the latter part of this month, Sec. Gonzales declared that he would never follow illegal orders from President Arroyo in the event of a failure of elections on May 10. “I will never do so myself.”,he said. Why on earth does a cabinet secretary holding a very important post will say such a thing? This kind of statement only worsened the situation instead of helping the GMA administration. Although the secretary later on, downplayed the speculations of derailing the May elections. My point here is, why such statement was declared in the first place? It caused tension and heightened the rumor that there is a discord among PMAers, between the PNP Chief Director General Jesus Verzosa and GMA. The perception became a reality when the president failed to attend the graduation rites of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA).
Someone seems to be orchestrating these recent events. Text messages went around of a possible holdover term of Mrs. Arroyo due to the recent appointments of the PMA Class 78 to the different branches of the AFP. Methinks that the only intention here is to create division among our AFP-PNP and lay the predicate that the coming elections will fail and create unrest in the process.
Let us all be vigilant and keep our faith in the military and our law enforcers. Let's hope that they will uphold the constitution and respect the pillars of democracy come May 10, 2010 elections. To pacify the nation, our high-ranking military officials stated that they will not succumb to the rumored takeover by a military junta in case of failed poll automation or no proclamation. Let's not push them to the wall and make a lot of prayers that our country will get over this much awaited elections peacefully. God bless our nation!