Fact Number 1: There are allegations of electoral fraud committed during the 2016 presidential elections. Fact Number 2: As a result of these allegations, a dispute on the results of the vice presidential vote count is being raised with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET). Fact Number 3: The top two presidential candidates at the time impacted by the possibility of fraud are required to raise a service fee to have the PET review and investigate the allegations.
As of yet, there are no conclusive facts coming out of the issue of electoral fraud in 2016. We have hypotheses and theories but no factual conclusions (which is why an investigation needs to be done). But in the way Inquirer writer Rina Jimenez-David puts it, in her column A peso for Leni, it seems all this is a foregone conclusion for her. It could be because the seeming aim of her article is not to provide insight into the issue of electoral fraud in 2016, but to promote efforts to fund “vice president” Leni Robredo’s required participation in the PET investigation.
That’s why a group of women, all of whom believe in Robredo’s rightful claim to the vice presidency and who wish to prevent a Marcos from having such close proximity to the presidency, recently launched a drive to help the Vice President fight off the Marcos challenge.
Take the above snippet apart and a handful of key messages emerge:
(1) What is driving support for Robredo is belief in her “rightful claim to the vice presidency”; and,
(2) The goal of aiming to “prevent a Marcos from having such close proximity to the presidency”.
Nowhere in the above takes into consideration the possibility that electoral fraud had been committed. Indeed, the whole exercise of pursuing a complaint with the PET is to get to the bottom of these fraud allegations. It is not about who “deserves” what. Neither is the PET investigation all about who has the money or how that money is acquired. The whole exercise was initiated because there exists allegations of fraud in the 2016 presidential elections. And where there are allegations, an investigation needs to be mounted.
But for the average Filipino mind, such as the one Rina Jimenez-David applies to evaluating this issue, points like these are routinely missed. Instead, and on top of the flawed way with which she framed the problem, she goes further to make it about the credentials of those who support Robredo…
The women behind the “Piso para sa Laban ni Leni” are all awardees of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (or TOWNS) and are asking the Supreme Court to allow them to take part in Robredo’s counterprotest. The women are led by Nina Lim-Yuson, founder of the Museo Pambata, and include former Human Rights commissioner and columnist Paulynn Paredes Sicam, singer Celeste Legaspi-Gallardo, former BCDA board member Zorayda Alonzo, former social welfare secretary Dinky Soliman, and Ateneo de Manila University Press director Karina Bolasco.
Yes, we’re all glad you are here to tell us all of the above, Ms Jimenez-David. But you need to answer the one obvious question that emerges from all those names and creds you dropped:
How does being “upstanding” citizens (on the basis of this and that “award”) contribute to getting to the truth about what really happened in May of 2016? Even more astounding is the irony in what Ms Jimenez-David cites as the key motivator of these folks which, she writes, is to “serve as an avenue for ordinary Filipinos ‘to stand together and protect their votes’ which sent Robredo to the No. 2 post in the land.”
I might be missing something here but isn’t the whole point in an effort to investigate allegations of electoral fraud to determine whether people’s votes were properly accounted for? Furthermore, how could one confidently state that the 2016 elections “sent Robredo to the No. 2 post in the land” if doubts surrounding the integrity of those elections linger? Unfortunately for people like Ms Jimenez-David, that clarity of thinking is clouded by the sloppy reasoning she applied to her writing to frame Robredo as a victim in this whole affair. When will Yellowtards get the memo? There is no “victim” in this exercise. It’s a legal part of the whole kaboodle Filipinos signed up to called “democracy”.
Rather than apply a rational mind to framing an issue properly, so-called “thought leaders” and “opinion-shapers” like Ms Jimenez-David actually subtract clarity from issues like these and, ultimately, subtract from the collective intelligence of Filipinos. Take stock of the key takeaways you gain after reading her article. The only information or understanding you get about the PET investigation into electoral fraud allegations committed during the May 2016 presidential elections is that (1) Robredo is believed by a group of titas to be deserving of the title of “vice president” of the Philippines and that (2) the writer of the piece believes Robredo is a “victim” of the Marcos family in this exercise. Thing is;
Credentials and beliefs don’t constitute good nor solid substance to modern thinking.
Thank you very much, Ms Rina Jimenez-David. I can’t say Filipinos feel a lot smarter now after having read your “insightful” article on the subject, but at least you beat your deadline this week.
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