Why can't Comelec stop the early campaigners?

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - December 8, 2015 - 9:00am

Isn't it quite disturbing that Commission on Elections  Chairman Andres Bautista on Sunday told us that the May 9, 2016 elections may be postponed if the Supreme Court (SC) fails to lift the temporary restraining order against the poll body's "No Bio, No Boto" policy? Mind you this statement by the Comelec Chairman of a "No-El" scenario has made the headlines of our national dailies and he probably did not study the consequence of this move if it becomes a reality because it just might trigger another revolution in this country.

If you ask me, the Supreme Court (SC) acted to protect the rights of voters to be able to vote with or without that digital fingerprinting. Let me remind you that there are seven thousand plus islands (plus or minus depending on the tide) in this country and many areas do not even have electricity in order to run those computers. But then Comelec Chairman Andy Bautista focuses on having elections even inside the shopping malls, which I do not dispute, however he must get out of Metro Manila and see for himself that not all provinces have shopping malls or even electricity at all.

I dare say that the SC did the right thing to protect the rights of the Filipino voter and if the Comelec cannot handle it, then perhaps Chairman Bautista ought to turn in his resignation. It is a fact that today everyone is on the campaign trail from the presidentiables to the vice-presidentiables, the governors, the mayors, the congressmen and senators and the councilors and Provincial Board members and yet it seems even the Comelec cannot stop the campaigning because it is not yet the campaign period and therefore those seeking elective positions are not yet under the rules of the Comelec. What a stupid excuse from a Comelec that can't even enforce the rule of law!

Open your radios and every hour you will see barkers of politicians make fun at their political enemies, calling them names, which, in journalistic parlance, is below the belt. Yet the Comelec is inutile to stop these radio barkers? So what we have here is a situation where the Comelec merely threw the rule of law out of the window! In the old days, no one dared cross the Comelec and campaign before the official campaign period started. But now it's open season for politicos to campaign because the Comelec cannot see this gross violation of our Comelec laws!

What is deeply disturbing is when the Comelec chairman spews out the possibility of postponing the elections and putting the blame squarely on the Supreme Court! I don't know how many columns we already wrote that, since the removal of the Marcos Dictatorship in the EDSA People's Power Revolt of 1986, the nation called the Philippines have gone from one people's power to the next when then former Pres. Joseph "Erap" Estrada was deposed in EDSA II.

Yet despite these dramatic changes, we continue to have the same Comelec and the same rules except that the cheating in the polls has become digital and therefore more destructive to the sovereign will of the Filipino people because thanks to the PCOS machines that cannot count their votes.

It is for this reason why we must change the political system of this country and do away with national elections. We have copied the American political system, but we failed in copying its two-party system and its Federal system, which is why we really cannot call ourselves a nation until we embrace what we call inclusivity where all Filipino languages become national languages and no one is left behind.

At this point, we should make a dramatic effort to shift into a parliamentary form of government because it saves a lot of money not just for the state, but also for politicians as well as it allows potential nation builders who do not have the money to participate in national governance. Best of all, in a Parliamentary system we can do away with national elections, which is very costly for the candidates. Alas there is that evil political spirit that has hypnotized the Filipino people to accept and embrace only this ill-fated unitary form of governance.

Just look what a parliamentary system has done for a country like Canada, where last October they elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was here during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. He is handsome and his photos went viral in the social media networking sites.

Last September Australia voted in their new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after ousting the conservative Tony Abbott. Both elections were done without any fanfare and without the enormous spending that we in the Philippines have to endure. Today as what I wrote last Monday, the majority of Filipinos are at a loss on whom to vote because the five major presidential contenders just simply cannot make the great to be the next President of the Philippines. Thanks to Comelec that could worsen an already worse scenario.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.


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