Sen. Joker Arroyo the other day urged President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to make clean elections in 2010 the legacy of her “scandal-tainted reign in Malacañang.” To ensure that the 2010 presidential election will be honest and fair, the senator said Ms Arroyo should choose wisely the new chair of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and use her political will to carry out the long-delayed computerization of elections. He also said the President should put a stop to the cheating that tainted previous elections and appoint trustworthy persons to the vacant Comelec posts so that the poll body would regain the trust of the public.
But didn't Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also promised clean elections in 2004 back then? Joker Arroyo's statement is silly considering the source. Joker supported Arroyo, defended her "win" in the 2004 Elections, and he and Zubiri ran under GMA's ticket in 2007 (where Zubiri benefitted mightily from the GMA/Garci COMELEC Machine in Maguindanao).
OTOH... in a bizarro sense yes, there is less incentive to rig the presidential elections in 2010 since she is stepping down in 2010 and will not run anymore. That's one of the few positives that point to a "cleaner" elections.
More from the editorial:
All of these suggestions are well-taken, and if Ms Arroyo could carry them out before the 2010 elections, they could earn for her presidency a better public judgment. But to these suggestions we would like to add: Prosecute the Comelec officials found liable for the anomalous billion-peso computerization deal. Up to now we cannot understand why the Office of the Ombudsman has yet to find former Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos liable for the failed P1.3-billion Mega Pacific contract for the computerization of elections. Only Commissioner Resurreccion Borra has been found liable. Why only Borra when all the commissioners, including the chair, signed the contract?
Notice that among all these wonderful suggestions, something's omitted. What ever happened to punishing those election officials helped arroyo steal the elections in 2004? We know it wasn't just Garcillano who fixed the elections for ARroyo. There were plenty of others. I'm sure Gudani and Balutan and Zuce knows more. How can there be credible reforms if nobody from the civil society has the political will and guts to say, we need to go after these guys throw the book at them. We need to go after all the COMELEC officials past and present, active and inactive, who helped commit election fraud in 2004 and 2007. Or else, you gonna have "sleeper cell" COMELEC operators, ready to be activated when needed.
Anything less than that is B.S., in my opinion.