Do Not Let the Elite Steal the 2016 Elections

After the second presidential debates last Sunday, it seems that the presidential race is turning out to be a contest between the choice of the masses versus the choice of the elite. The masses’ favorites being Vice-President Jojo Binay and Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte while the elite seem to be favoring Senator Grace Poe and former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.

When the electoral contest is shaping to be an “Us versus Them” or what some people would call as The Mob versus The Powers-That-Be, which camp do you think will flex their muscles to make sure the outcome will go their way?

Former Senator Francisco S. Tatad wrote an article on Manila Times on August 16, 2015 and he made this very interesting case: “Election analysts and observers generally presume that after PNoy’s endorsement of former DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas as the Liberal Party standard bearer, the latter’s camp will be in complete command and control of the ‘hocus PCOS’ operation. This guarantees a repeat of the 2010 and 2013 ‘elections’ with Roxas as the inevitable ‘winner’.”

As early as September 2015, Philippine Star columnist Jarius Bondoc already declared that “2016 election cheating being plotted this early.” It is not the old larger-scale “dagdag-bawas” (vote padding-shaving) done at the provincial and regional levels, but a computer-assisted manipulation done at the COMELEC national level. Reportedly, they have started the new high-tech cheating scheme in 2010 and improved on it by 2013 with Senator Grace Poe, now a presidential candidate, allegedly as the top beneficiary.

In that same article Tatad said: “In 2013, the PCOS machines were programmed to produce 60-30-10 across-the-board result in favor of PNoy’s senatorial candidates everywhere, including those places where the candidates were not at all known to the voters. With the votes from 48 percent of the voting centers counted, the unheralded topnotcher, Grace Poe Llamanzares, posted 20 million votes at the Comelec website. Several days later, this figure was scaled down, without any explanation, to 16 million votes. When the votes from the remaining 52 percent of the voting centers were counted, she got an additional 186,000. Upon completion of the count, her votes went up finally to over 20 million. Not a few voters were shocked to find out that they had voted for Mrs. Llamanzares without their knowledge.”

That’s quite an interesting story. If Grace was the beneficiary of PNoy’s party’s “hocus PCOS,” is that why Mar was quite confident she would agree to be his vice-presidential running mate early on? Was that their Plan A that was hijacked by Chiz Escudero and Danding Cojuangco by getting Grace to run for president with their support instead?

And then Tatad made another revelation. He said that a source claims to have intimate knowledge of a plan backed by the corporate elite “to hijack the PCOS operation from Roxas and rewrite the entire script for 2016” to ensure Poe’s victory.

Perhaps, Grace was the elite’s backup plan (or maybe their preferred Plan A) because Mar has proven to be quite a tough sell as president to the Filipino voters. Who can challenge the popularity of the adopted daughter of the beloved Fernando Poe, Jr., right? That was the spin that made people accept Grace as the number one senator in the last senatorial race in the first place.

With mainstream media controlled and manipulated by the elite, people can easily be deluded into thinking that the 2016 presidential race is a “close fight” between Roxas and Poe — the candidates of the elite. The two are already being projected as “leading” or “gaining ground” in surveys. They are also being sold to us as the “more decent” candidates as opposed to the “more vulgar” and “scary” Jojo Binay and Rody Duterte.

The 2016 electoral campaign is being scripted and directed by the elite. Understandably, they do not want a repeat of an Erap presidency, which they immediately remedied with the elite-backed EDSA Dos. Erap was the candidate of the masang Pilipino. He was extremely popular and considered a “sure thing” but he made the elite uncomfortable, what with his “decency” being questionable and all.  But we should not mistake his sheer popularity as the factor that made him win the presidency. Erap invested heavily on a vote security system that made sure his votes were protected and counted right.

In Philippine elections, contrary to popular belief, it is not the popular candidate who wins. It is the candidate who has the capacity to control the “cheating machinery” — from manipulation of people’s perceptions and conditioning their responses down to actual election results. A popular candidate only wins if he or she knows how to counter the cheating effectively.

The elite never really trusted the masses to know what’s good for them and to choose the “right” candidate. And that is why elections is such big business. It is funded by big money. They say we get the leaders we deserve. In truth, our leaders have not really been the people’s choice. They have been chosen for them and they accept these outcomes through careful manipulation and conditioning.

More than a campaign for the leaders we want, there needs to be a massive advocacy campaign that will counter the mainstream elite propaganda that their choice is also the people’s choice. People must know how elections have been manipulated through the years and they must be equipped with the facts and tools they need to make a truly informed decision and how to make sure outcomes reflect their choices.

So do not fall for that “bring back decency in government” crap from the “Daang Matuwid” team. It’s just the elite hijacking the people’s real choice. They want you to think Binay and Duterte are the bullies. But if you really analyze how they are writing the script they are feeding us, you can see the subtle manipulation only the rich can pull off with such level of sophistication.

If we do not watch it and are not careful, they might just get away with stealing another election from us.

First appeared on Mindanao Times, March 27, 2016.