THE Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has slammed the recent action of the PDP-Laban (Cusi faction) to petition the COMELEC to reopen the period for the filing of COCs for the 2022 national and local elections as an insidious attempt by unscrupulous politicians to ensure their hold on power at the expense of suffering Filipinos.
VACC president Arsenio Evangelista said the petition smacks of naked political manipulation and unnecessary politicking in a critical period when the whole nation reels under the double-whammy of a gravely worsening pandemic and the urgent need for immediate socioeconomic assistance for millions struggling to fight the daily battle of survival in the central Philippine regions devastated by super typhoon Odette.
Evangelista said that even if the nation was not gripped by the twin tragedies, there was still no valid justification for the Cusi petition: “The deadline of October 8, 2021 was well known to every political aspirant and party organization well in advance and everyone had ample time to prepare. Individuals and groups prepared carefully and assiduously against these deadlines, and even great sacrifices were made. It would be terribly unfair for those who exerted great efforts and endured sacrifices to meet these deadlines, and for them to be told now that there are exceptions to these rules and an extension has to be made.”
Evangelista asserted that “everyone has to abide by the rules as they are set. We cannot make exceptions just because the administration party is hopelessly divided and they had no politically viable candidate by the set deadline of October 8, 2021. This abject failure of the administration party should not bedevil our nation now. At this crucial time, we should be devoting ourselves to the urgent measures to save the lives of our suffering countrymen and to protect our economy from a worsening pandemic.”
Evangelista stated that “our electoral process – the very foundation and bedrock of our democratic life — must be held sacrosanct. In a genuine democracy, rules are meant to be firm and predictable and no one is above the law. With the Cusi petition, there is simply no leveling of the political playing field. We cannot change or invent rules as we go along. The administration party is ‘playing with a loaded political dice,’ so to speak.”
Evangelista warned, “this desperate move is a miserable and last-ditch effort to subvert the will of the electorate through manipulation and political subterfuge.”
He said that VACC shares the serious concern of several sectors that this recent PDP-Laban (Cusi faction) move is really meant to derail the COMELEC’s and the nation’s preparations for the 2022 national and local elections that may ultimately lead to a ‘NO-EL’ scenario and an extension of the term of the present administration.
Evangelista expressed VACC’s alarm that the same usual ‘suspects’ are once again callously neglecting and shirking their sworn duties and responsibilities in the face of the twin tragedies of Super Typhoon Odette and the spiking COVID pandemic, and these officials are foisting their selfish ambitions and political machinations on a hapless citizenry.