Thursday, May 13, 2010


Voters should remember those who will vote for her speakership bid

NOW IT IS VERY CLEAR. Pres. Gloria Arroyo’s attempt to dominate Congress has practically destroyed the party list system, exploiting the erroneous Supreme Court formula in Banat vs Comelec, to field GMA proxy party list groups in the recent elections. Bayan Muna estimates that more than twenty GMA backed party list groups will get seats in Congress. “Pres. Arroyo focused her resources and funding on allies running in the party list and district congressional elections to ensure her speakership in the House of Representatives” said Rep. Teddy Casino. “ She made sure that her party list groups with her dummies as nominees have more than enough funds to top the party list vote through the support of her LGU allies and TV ads which marginalized and underrepresented party list groups like Bayan Muna does not have.”

“People should remember in the next party list elections all the party list groups that will vote for Pres. Arroyo as speaker. There are two numbers that she wants to achieve here. She needs at least 96 votes to impeach the new president and a total of 144 members to become speaker of the House. With her party list proxies, she could achieve both numbers” said Rep. Neri Colmenares. “The Supreme Court should review its Banat decision now that its erroneously unproportional formula has been abused by politicians and big business wanting a cheap way to get into congress.”

Despite the speed with which the results were reported in the 2010 elections, Bayan Muna remains concerned with the uncanvassed votes especially in the ARMM region. “The canvassing in the ARMM is always delayed, without exception. This will allow national politicians including party list groups to buy votes in the area during the delay. We ask the Comelec to immediately intervene and arrest this delay”, said Rep. Teddy Casino.

“The 2010 election should be assessed on the basis of two factors, internal fraud which pertains to fraud in the operations of the PCOs and external fraud which is committed whether or not the elections are automated such as vote buying, terrorism, and illegal campaigning” said Rep. Colmenares. “While internal fraud is still subject to the random manual audit, it is clear that there was widespread external fraud putting into question the capacity of the Comelec to ensure that the will of the voters are credibly reflected in the ballots. Comelec has failed to act on complaints filed by Bayan Muna against military officers illegally using government resources to campaign against Bayan Muna and other progressive candidates. This is surely a major black eye as far as the party list elections are concerned”, he added.

“It is only through the perseverance and determination of the voters, teachers and poll watchdogs and the vigilance of the Filipino people that we managed to preempt a failure of election”, said Rep. Casino. “While we condemn the massive vote buying, threats and illegal campaigning that took place during the elections, Bayan Muna hails the Filipino people and the teachers who manned the polls for their heroic acts to ensure that Pres. Arroyo will not have the justification to perpetuate herself in power,” he concluded.

Comelec and PPCRV urged to publicly tally party list results

Comelec and PPCRV urged to publicly tally party list results

BAYAN MUNA is seriously concerned about the failure of the Comelec and the PPCRV to publicly tally the results of the party list elections. “Second rate public officials ba ang tingin ng Comelec at PPCRV sa party list? They must note that it is the progressive party list groups that was in the forefront of exposing and opposing the graft and corruption cases and anti-people policies of President Arroyo”, said Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casino. “This is marginalization of the marginalized.” We demand that PPCRV perform their function as an election watchdog and also cover the party list results. When they applied for accreditation, they are bound to also publicly tally the party list votes,” he concluded.

Bayan Muna representative Neri Javier Colmenares also condemned the serious omission because it will encourage fraud in the party list election. “This absence of information only makes it possible for fraud to be committed especially since there are rich pro Arroyo nominees running in the party list. Many party list groups got a lot of votes in the ARMM areas in 2007. Now that the ARMM results are delayed, it will not surprise us if fraud is again being committed there. We heard that national results for senators and party list are not being canvassed in these areas. We will file charges against board of canvassers refusing to canvass these national posts,” said Rep. Colmenares. “We are calling on the Comelec and leaders of concerned political parties to go to the ARMM areas and guard their votes,” he added.

Progressive party list groups like Bayan Muna and progressive candidates Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza were victims of massive black propaganda during the campaign. “Our posters were defaced, and large streamers saying people shouldn’t vote for us because we are NPAs littered streets all over the country. Public officials received letters threatening them if they support us. This campaign against Bayan Muna cost millions only to ensure a decrease in our votes,” said Rep. Colmenares. “Vote buying and huge campaign spending by rich party list groups also marred the election. Bayan Muna votes may have suffered because of these attacks but we are still happy that the people's vigilance and determination to vote managed to preempt a possible failure of election which will only play into the hands of Pres. Arroyo.”

Clean Up

Bayan Muna also announced that it will help clean up the garbage resulting from the election campaign. “We will focus in helping clean up schools. Bayan Muna will also study a proposed bill that will only allow bio degradable materials for election propaganda. Maybe we can minimize solid waste pollution during campaign periods,” said Rep. Teddy Casino.

Used tarpaulin streamers may also be donated to Bayan Muna (# 45 K-7 Street, West Kamias, Quezon City) for recycling into tarp-bags, as demonstrated by Bayan Muna Payatas Chapter's tarp-bag making activity last April 21 in celebration of Earth Day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Constitutional crisis feared

BAYAN MUNA condemns Pres. Gloria Arroyo’s appointment of a Chief Justice despite the constitutional prohibition and the absence of urgency to appoint a Chief Justice. This is nothing more than an attempt by Pres. Arroyo to load the dice in her favor once plunder charges are filed against her when her presidential immunity ceases on June 30, 2010.

“Sen. Noynoy Aquino is clearly the next president of the Philippines. There is no constitutional crisis that urgently requires the appointment, thanks to the people’s vigilance to ensure that there is no failure of election” said Bayan Muna representative Neri Javier Colmenares. “In fact, it is possible that this appointment could lead to a constitutional crisis if Sen. Aquino will challenge the constitutionality of the appointment as he promised during the campaign. Paalis na lang si Pangulong Arroyo, nag iwan pa ng problema” he added.

Rep. Colmenares, who is also a human rights lawyer, said that the Supreme Court decision in De Castro vs. JBC only discusses the submission by the JBC of the list to Malacanang and cannot therefore be used to justify the appointment of the Chief Justice. “Bayan Muna intends to file many cases not only against Pres. Arroyo but also her subordinates for graft and corruption, extra judicial killings and electoral fraud. The judicial system must be perceived as impartial when trying these cases” Rep. Colmenares declared.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
H.O.P.E., not OPLAN R.A.FA.EL!

Bayan Muna Partylist calls on the public to vote but stay on their highest alert to ensure that their votes will be properly counted.

In the picket rally held today at Comelec, Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Teddy Casiño said "We hope Comelec can fix all the glitches with the memory cards and PCOS machines, that the May 10 elections will not be delayed or sabotaged. If there is failure of elections, only the Arroyo regime will benefit from it."

Casiño reminded that the elements for Oplan RAFAEL (Retain Arroyo through Failure of Elections) are in place. "We are hoping for the best, of course, but we must also prepare for worst-case scenarios. On May 10, we must exercise our rights to elect leaders, protect the vote and defend our rights in any eventuality. Bantayan natin ang PCOS (Presidential Cheating Operating System) at tutulan ang Oplan RAFAEL!" Casiño said.

Bayan Muna Partylist is very concerned about possible cheating, violence and election failure. Previous elections show massive fraud through dagdag-bawas and other manipulations, especially in the 2004 elections from which Hello Garci and military election fraud were exposed, and the first automated polls still appear very vulnerable to such.

"We will continue our campaign for 'HOPE (Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections) for Change' in our walk-for-HOPE tomorrow 7a.m. at Luneta Park, to culminate in front of the Comelec building. People from all walks of life are invited," concluded Casiño. ###

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Comelec and Smartmatic treat 2010 elections as a joke

Comelec and Smartmatic treat 2010 elections as a joke

Bayan Muna Partylist representatives Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares were shocked at the cavalier fashion with which Comelec and Smartmatic treated the installation of the Consolidation Server for the Presidential Canvassing in the House of Representatives. “Comelec and Smartmatic did not send a representative in the installation, giving the House Secretary General the thankless job of explaining on their behalf. Their absence is a major insult to the House. They think our questions do not matter” said Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casiño. “Worse, the very important security tokens and their passwords were placed in an unsealed ordinary white envelope normally used in soliciting donations in barangay beauty contests. Magulo ang pag turn over ng Comelec at Smartmatic sa House. Can you imagine, they were using the guidelines for provincial canvassing as they were installing the CCS for the presidential canvassing. Parang joke lang sa Comelec ito”, added Rep. Casiño.

House Secretary General Marilyn Yap explained that those results that were not electronically transmitted will be entered in the CCS manually by entering the physically transmitted memory or CF cards. When asked if this will expose the CCS to fraudulent manipulation, she explained that only those who know the password can open the CCS to enter the physically transmitted results. “This exposes the presidential canvassing to fraud. Anyone who could have accessed the security tokens in the unsealed envelop and read the passwords written in a piece of paper, could now enter fake results in the CCS” said Bayan Muna Representative Neri Javier Colmenares. “Any losing presidential candidate can now question these results creating havoc in the presidential canvassing. The fact that the envelopes were open is a major fiasco for the presidential canvassing.”

Members of the House were also informed that results of the Overseas Absentee Voting will not be electronically transmitted but will be transmitted physically through its memory card. “Waiting for the results from countries abroad will surely cause delay in the canvassing. It is possible that we will be canvassing the results for more than 48 hours” said Rep. Colmenares. “Moreover, it is difficult for the watchers of poor party list candidates like Bayan Muna who cannot afford watchers to guard the memory cards all the way to the Philippines."

The installation was a failure according to Rep. Casiño. “Marami pang ibang palpak sa installation. The card or flash reader was not tested if it can read information,or if it will accept CF cards physically transmitted. There was even no testing of electronic transmission. Bayan Muna will submit a protest with the Comelec on these dangerous developments,” declared Rep. Casiño.

Bayan Muna calls on public to be vigilant in protecting their votes

Garbage in, garbage out

Bayan Muna warns vs. electronic cheating,
on public to be vigilant in protecting their votes

Witnessing the installation of the CCS machine at the House of Representatives which would receive electronic returns for the national canvass for president and vice president on election day, Bayan Muna representatives Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares today reiterated their call for the Comelec to implement new safeguards, "otherwise, the CCS machines will be susceptible to that basic rule in computer technology - garbage in, garbage out."

Bayan Muna is opposing proposals to postpone the May 10 elections and wants Comelec to implement remedial measures to all technical problems to ensure credible polls. "While we agree that some form of parallel and expanded random manual count is warranted given the defects of the PCOS, we also warn against a return to full manual counting since there will be higher risks of cheating to be done by experts and veterans of the rigged 2004 elections."

"But whether there will be full automation, partial, parallel, or random manual counting, the people will now have to take it upon themselves to prevent cheating. Comelec and Smartmatic are part of the problem. The solution is the people's vigilance," he said.

"At this point, automation can not guarantee clean, credible elections. We call on our people to be ready to be sleepless for two or three days just to guard the votes. Let us be involved in the checking and sealing process. We must be involved in the counting process. Let people power be alive on May 10," stressed Casiño.

"We must stop Oplan RAFAEL (the scheme to retain Arroyo through failure of elections). Bayan Muna appeals to the public not to be deceived into thinking everything's okay. We are raising our voices to alert the citizenry, to foil the plans of those who wish to control every democratic institution for their own selfish interests. Let's be vigilant in protecting the sanctity of the ballot as our means for instituting reforms beneficial to the people," Casiño urged.

Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares illustrated how problematic the situation could be if "defective" CF memory cards are replaced by another batch of defective cards. "There will be delays, a failure or postponement where the machine or program malfunctions. Some will be forced to do manual counting. This is where expert cheaters can manipulate the results through dagdag-bawas. Or it could be a high-tech, electronic cheating like card switching or transmission of fake results," Colmenares said.

"Generals Bangit, Mapagu and Sec. Gonzales, with their vast network of spies, know some things they are not telling us. They know exactly who stands to benefit from an Arroyo term extension. Instead, they have been lying and deflecting the issue of military involvement in cheating! If these three are not involved in electoral fraud, they should have immediately investigated their subordinates whom we have complained for conducting threats and harassment against progressive candidates and members," Colmenares added.

A protest action is also being held simultaneously at the Comelec central office in Manila.###

H.O.P.E. for change!

H.O.P.E. for change!
No to election failure, fraud or violence!

Bayan Muna, Task Force on Urban Conscientization, and concerned leaders and organizations across sectors join hands at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Baclaran Church) today, 4:30 p.m., as a community of faithful imploring Divine guidance and HOPE for the sake of the entire nation, and especially for the future generations of Filipinos.

Amid threats of nationwide fraud, confusion, violence and technical failures plaguing the country's first automated polls, we come together to pray, draw inspiration, and work hand in hand for an Honest, Orderly, and Peaceful Elections (HOPE) for change.

The recent PCOS machine test failures that require the recall, recalibration and replacement of 76,000 compact flash (CF) cards added to the ever-growing fears that there might be failure of elections thus prolonging Pres. Gloria Arroyo's reign in Malacanang. But in spite of these threats, we will pursue honest, orderly, peaceful and credible elections. We continue to HOPE for change!

The 2010 elections give us an opportunity to catalyze change for the country through HOPE. We enjoin every Filipino to seek HOPE for change, to help ensure that no fraud or violence or confusion will prevail, to prevent any scheme that will curtail the democratic rights of the people, to be aware of political developments, to be vigilant, and to be responsive in safeguarding the sanctity of votes.

In the people's unity, determination and concerted actions during politically dark times depend the survival of this country's democratic institutions.

Long live the Filipino people!

Bayan Muna - Task Force on Urban Conscientization - Concerned leaders and organizations
(5 May 2010)

PCOS glitches part of plot? Stop Oplan RAFAEL

PCOS glitches part of plot?
Stop Oplan RAFAEL (Retain Arroyo through Failure of Elections)!

In the light of the PCOS machines failure just 4 days away from the first ever automated national elections, Bayan Muna Partylist is raising the alarm bells for the near completion of a sinister plot to retain Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as president through a failure or postponement of elections.

“Everything is falling into place. As much as we want the elections to push through smoothly, five out of at least eight conditions have already been met for President Arroyo to be retained through failure of elections. Oplan RAFAEL (Retain Arroyo through Failure of Elections) must be stopped now by a united citizenry,” exclaimed Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño.

The militant legislator revealed eight stages of what he termed Oplan RAFAEL. “First, Arroyo appointed the Hello Garci generals in key positions as her loyal praetorian guards. Second, she increased the AFP's role in the electoral process. Third, we now have 'technical glitches' in the AES,” Casiño bared.

“Fourth, Arroyo's own lawyers have now floated the idea of postponing the elections as an option. Fifth, no sitting Senate president will succeed GMA since Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile has refused to vacate his post. The sixth condition will be Arroyo's midnight appointment of the Supreme Court Chief Justice to ensure a pro-Arroyo Court,” Casiño added.

“The seventh stage would be the failure of elections itself due to systemic failures, massive fraud, chaos or violence, which then completes stage eight of Oplan RAFAEL, wherein Arroyo remains as president in a holdover capacity."

"After nine years in Malacanang, Mrs. Arroyo is still hell-bent in stealing the presidency for the third time!” Casiño said. "She became president in 2001 after Joseph Estrada was ousted. She stayed in power through massive electoral fraud in 2004 with the help of the likes of 'Garci' and nationwide political operators including military officials. And now this."

“Given the configuration problems of the PCOS machines, we in Bayan Muna demand two things from the Comelec: 1) Turn on the feature that shows the voter, through the machine's LCD screen, how his ballot was counted; and 2) Conduct a parallel manual verification count,” Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said.

“In the face of poll automation failure, various groups and Bayan Muna will hold a Mass for HOPE (Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections) at the Baclaran Church today at 4:30 p.m. A candle lighting ceremony follows at 6 p.m. The public, known personalities and leaders are invited,” concluded Colmenares.###

Tuesday, May 4, 2010



BAYAN MUNA Party List, concerned over the announcement of a plot to delay voting in the precincts, today submitted to Chairman Jose Melo an Urgent Appeal to petition the COMELEC to expose the plotters.

“Comelec should name names as this act of electoral sabotage is a serious electoral offense punishable with life imprisonment. Comelec has previously warned critics that they are committing an election offense if they make announcements without backing it with evidence. Now, the Comelec will not only be guilty of an election offense but will also not be setting a good example if it refuses to identify and prosecute candidates out to sabotage the polls. It is an impeachable offense if Comelec will not prosecute” said Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Neri Colmenares. “Otherwise, we will treat the Comelec announcement as a mere attempt to prepare the people for a failure of elections and point to a scapegoat other than the Comelec. This is outrageous.”

Parallel count, Transparent printing of Manual Ballots, Release of Mayuga Report

Bayan Muna also asked COMELEC to reconsider its decision on the parallel manual count by expanding its random manual audit to cover more precincts. “With more kinks found in the system by the Comelec itself when it tested the PCOs machines, the more reason why an expanded random manual audit should be undertaken that should cover at 10% of the polls or at least 6,000 precincts” said Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Teddy Casino. The kinks found by Comelec ranged from failed transmission, untested PCOs machines, servers and websites, misaligned ovals and this recent revelation of procedural delay.

In the same appeal, Bayan Muna asked that parties be allowed to witness the printing of election paraphernalia for manual counting. “We have not receive notice for our pollwatchers to witness the printing of manual election returns and other paraphernalia. These are accountable forms and may be the source of electoral fraud if the Comelec admission that 30% of the polls may be manual takes place. Why is it being printed without watchers is unacceptable” said Rep. Casino.

In the same Urgent Appeal, Bayan Muna also asked the COMELEC to subpoena the Mayuga Report which Pres. Gloria Arroyo refused to make public in 2006. “With the revelation by DND Sec. Norberto Gonzalez that fraud using the military is taking place, the COMELEC must find out which military unit and officers have been previously identified in order for the poll body to take remedial measures. The Comelec should not deputize a military or police officer identified by the Mayuga Report as having been involved in electoral fraud in 2004” said Rep. Colmenares. “We demand that Pres. Arroyo release the report and for Comelec to subpoena said report. During election period, Comelec has the plenary powers to subpoena the report and should take this opportunity to pry from the deathly grip of Pres. Arroyo a report that has eluded public scrutiny for years” Colmenares demanded. ###



BAYAN MUNA Party List, alarmed by the decision of the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) to submit its list of nominees to Pres. Gloria Arroyo and give her the luxury of appointing the next Supreme Court Chief Justice, urgently asks the JBC to reconsider its decision. Bayan Muna is afraid of a major upheaval if Pres. Arroyo appoints the next chief justice instead of allowing the new president to appoint the replacement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

“Should failure of elections happen, it will be difficult for the people to follow a decision favorable to Pres. Arroyo issued by a Supreme Court under an Arroyo appointed Chief Justice” said Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casino. “Whether true or not, the Chief Justice will be perceived as beholden to Pres. Arroyo. A presidential appointment by Arroyo is a kiss of death”. Bayan Muna believes that Associate Justice Renato Corona will be appointed and Pres. Arroyo is just pretending to go through the motions. “There is no chance that the other justices will get selected. Justice Corona who was the Presidential Legal Counsel is the closest to the President. It will be a tough life for Justice Corona”, added Rep. Casino.

“There is no reason why Pres. Arroyo should rush the appointment of a Chief Justice. A collegial body like the Supreme Court has survived without a chief justice before. The only reason why she is moving heaven and earth to appoint one is because she intends to have a friendly Supreme Court once plunder cases are filed against her” said Bayan Muna Representative Neri Javier Colmenares.

Bayan Muna previously filed a House Bill 7109 entitled “An Act Prohibiting the President from Making Appointments to Judicial Positions, including that of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, During the Period Provided Under Section 15 Article VII of the Constitution and for Other Purposes” with the hope of precisely preventing this dangerous situation for the Court. Pres. Arroyo’s majority in the House however made sure that the bill will not pass. The bill provides that in case of a vacancy in the office of Chief Justice during the period when the President is prohibited from appointing the Chief Justice, the most senior Associate Justice shall act as Interim Chief Justice until another Chief Justice is appointed by the incoming President. This procedure is in fact already provided under Republic Act 296 or the Judiciary Act of 1948.

Bayan Muna whose two nominees. Atty. Neri Colmenares and Atty. Joven Laura are human rights lawyers in the Visayas and Bicol regions respectively, urges the JBC not to submit its list to Malacanang. “Pres. Arroyo may still be forced not to appoint a chief justice if the people will show outrage over this brazen lack of delicadeza. We hope, however, that the JBC will not to submit the list to Pres. Arroyo as planned since Pres. Arroyo does not know the word delicadeza” concluded Rep. Colmenares.###



Bayan Muna representative and senatorial candidate Satur Ocampo will file a complaint at the COMELEC today against generals Delfin Bangit and Reynaldo Mapagu, and Department of National Defense Ssecretary Norberto Gonzales for partisan political activity and harassment conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against supporters of Bayan Muna, senatorial candidate Satur Ocampo and other progressive candidates.

Bayan Muna wants COMELEC to prosecute Bangit, Gonzales, and Mapagu for misusing their official powers and functions, by ordering military personnel to conduct nationwide, organized, and systematic attacks against Bayan Muna's candidates and supporters, including the use of public funds to fund these activities.

Bayan Muna is also asking COMELEC to subpoena the military’s intelligence funds expenditure to investigate if these were spent on electoral intervention and fraud.

These acts of the military are partisan political activity and a clear violation of the Omnibus Election Code. The complaint is part of a series of complaints already filed against military officers in Sorsogon, South Cotabato and Davao.

“We have officials in the military and in the government especially Bangit, Mapagu, and Gonzales who have turned deaf despite the glaring evidence of violations committed by their subordinates. We will make sure that the perpetrators of these attacks are seriously prosecuted to hammer the message that the military should not interfere in the elections," Bayan Muna representative and legal counsel Neri Colmenares said. "We hope this will serve as a warning to those who persist in harassing us that we will not take this sitting down.”

“We are now asking the Commission on Elections to act with speed on this complaint and they should not, unlike the military, be numb to these violations,” he said.###

Bayan Muna: Foil ‘Oplan RAFAEL’

From no election to failure of election
Bayan Muna: Foil ‘Oplan RAFAEL’

In a picket-protest at the gates of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Camp Aguinaldo today, Bayan Muna Partylist warned against efforts by certain quarters in the defense department and the AFP to replace "Oplan No-El" (No Elections) with "Oplan RAFAEL" (Retain Arroyo through FAilure of ELections).

“The game plan of election operators within the Department of National Defense and the AFP has already changed from ‘NOEL’ to 'RAFAEL’ ,” Casiño said, noting how DND Sec. Norberto Gonzales himself had been repeatedly hammering at the possibility of poll failure due to defects in the automation system or other cheating mechanisms.

"Rather than a postponement of the elections, the scenario builders and planners including Gonzales are now looking at a failure of elections to ensure Arroyo's stay in power. These are creative and cunning minds who will exploit every opportunity to retain the status quo," he warned.

Casiño reiterated their call for Gonzales to resign or be fired for cooking up such scenarios.

“Sec. Gonzales himself, a staunch Arroyo loyalist, said there’s already fraud and cheating involving the military. That is true in the case of the AFP and its adjuncts actively campaigning against Bayan Muna, Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza. In fact, we are filing a complaint against Gonzales and Gen. Bangit later at the Comelec for election offenses,” Casiño added.

“The people should always be on guard and immediately report any military involvement in partisan electoral activities, which include campaigning for or against a candidate. We already have evidence of a nationwide smear and harassment campaign that military agents are doing against progressive candidates. We fear that the military’s attacks and electoral fraud against us will intensify in the coming days unless the AFP leadership seriously orders and sanctions all those involved in electioneering,” said Casiño.###