Reference: Rep. Neri Colmenares
FAILURE OF ELECTION NOW A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY WITH THE FAILURE OF CONGRESS TO PASS LAWS ON SUCCESSION
Bayan Muna Party List Representative Neri Javier Colmenares lamented the failure of Congress to pass bills aimed at providing for orderly succession should there be failure of election. “With the appointment of the Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, a fierce Arroyo loyalist as AFP Chief of Staff, the widespread brownouts, and Comelec’s admission that it may not finish printing the ballots in time for the 2010 elections, the threat of failure of election is now a very distinct possibility” Rep. Colmenares declared. “The scenario painted by Sen. Enrile about a military takeover once the election fails is a serious cause for concern that should have been addressed by Congress” he added. Bayan Muna has filed a bill designating the Chief Justice as acting president in case no president, vice president, senators and congressmen are elected due to the breakdown of the automated election.
“The failure of Speaker Nograles to lead the House of Representatives into passing a succession law and preempt a national catastrophe only favors Pres. Gloria Arroyo who may hold over as president if the 2010 election fails” said the Bayan Muna representative. “His justification that members of the majority cannot muster quorum should a special session be called because they are campaigning is certainly shocking. Speaker Nograles has practically admitted that majority congressmen from Lakas-Kampi, NPC and the Liberal Party are conducting the illegal act of campaigning even before the start of the campaign period on March 26” he added.
“Comelec’s contingency plan of resorting to manual elections should the PCOS machines fail due to brownouts and other problem will not save the country from a failure of election but will, on the contrary, only make things worse”, Bayan Muna warned. “It is easy to cheat in a manual election using the automated ballots. Ballots containing votes for opposition candidates may be surreptitiously shaded by “Garcis” in the Comelec in order to void it for overvoting. Ballot switching in the precincts will also be very easy to do under this mixed system” he added.