AKBAYAN Rejects “No Elections” Scenario, Predicts Likely Fraud in Manual Counting of Ballots

AKBAYAN leaders today aired fears of a possible “no elections” scenario after the Supreme Court struck down an anomalous contract the Commission on Elections entered into for the computerization of elections.

“The people will not buy any attempt to delay or set back the May elections,” AKBAYAN Party-List Representative Mario Aguja said, “especially if it will mean that we will remain stuck with a President like Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who has been proven to be unacceptable as a leader,” he added.

Representative Loretta Ann P. Rosales echoed Aguja’s statement saying that the polls should push through and it falls upon the incumbent administration to ensure that it does. Rosales said that the only reason why the administration wouldn’t do so is if PGMA and her campaign team know that she won’t win.

Rosales added that by going back to the manual counting of ballots, as is likely to be the case, the incumbent administration will earn the advantage of having the government machinery under its control. Rosales said that the specter of scandalously extensive, unabashed fraud is now luminously shadowing the May polls.

Aguja explained that the current fears of postponed elections and massive cheating stems from the irregular bidding for the purchase of automated counting machines that was struck down for being illegal by the Supreme Court yesterday. Aguja said that those responsible for the mess should be held accountable and meted out punishment for jeopardizing the orderly and credible conduct of the elections.

AKBAYAN Party-List Nominee and peace advocate Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel expressed hope that the elections push through because “There is the threat that if we do not have elections in May, certain forces might take advantage of the situation to either perpetuate themselves in power or employ extra-Constitutional means to grab power.”

“The 2004 elections should flow as smoothly as possible to ensure that the results are credible,” Hontiveros added “But the COMELEC’s inability to properly carry out its duty has put that assumption into doubt.”