Lets lay out a scenario first.
Your the president of a struggling third world country. You assumed power when a peoples revolt tossed out your predecessor, whom you served as vice president. Two years later – and reneging on a previous promise not to – you run for re- election against a political virgin. The “John Wayne” of Philippine cinema. The election is won by a total of 1,123,576 votes and you return to office vowing to stamp out corruption and improve the stagnate economy.
In the two years since you survive an attempted coup d’état by disgruntled military members. A still unresolved scandal involving the First Gentleman and Iraq hostage crisis that results in capitulation and ransom money paid to jihadist cut throats.
The list of chicanery, shenanigans, double-dealing, fourberie, and fraud has been endless, but, you have survived. Until now. And as predicted in August ’04 President Gloria Arroyo may be finally done for.
Whistleblower, and former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Deputy Director Samuel Ong, has produced a wiretap conversation (download files here) allegedly between the president and Commission on Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano. The original tape is in excess of three hours long but the main gist is Arroyo was given assurances by Garcillano that votes can be found (read: manufactured) that will offset her rival’s lead over her in the May ’03 election. Other portions detail how to slow down the election count in some areas and ensure her victory.
The government, meanwhile, insists that the tapes are fake, edited by the “opposition” out of wiretapped conversations Arroyo had with other people, in order to destabilize her administration.
In knee-jerk reaction three youths were arrested, and charged with inciting to sedition, a crime punishable by up to six years imprisonment for posting anti-Arroyo signs containing her picture and the words, “President Evil,” and “The Evil Continues.”
It is no surprise rather than call for authentication of the tapes they have filed charges against the whistleblower and are attempting to silence the media.
Exposing the criminal act of cheating massively at the polls committed by President Arroyo and her political operator, election official, Commission on Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, and demanding her resignation are now not only seditious acts, but also “proof” that the audio tapes on the poll fraud is a plot for a coup d’etat.
This position was bared today by officials of the Justice Department and the National Bureau of Investigation, after they filed sedition charges against former NBI Deputy Director Samuel Ong, the poll fraud whistleblower.
But even as sedition raps were filed yesterday against Ong, Malacañang at the same time admitted that the President does not want the tapes played by radio and TV stations or by anyone else because this would reduce her to becoming a victim of trial by publicity.
The House committees on public information, national defense, public order and security, electoral reforms, and information technology decided on Wednesday to send a letter to the President formally asking for her comment on the controversial tape.
The same letters will be sent to First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, Garcillano and other people whose conversations were allegedly illegally tapped.
The committees also decided to ask the FBI, Scotland Yard and other investigation agencies in Japan, Australia, and Canada if they can authenticate the tapes and if they are willing to do so.
The recordings issue comes as members of Arroyo’s family face allegations of connections to illegal gambling. On May 30 and June 6, at least three witnesses in a Senate investigation linked her husband, son and brother-in-law to jueteng, an illegal form of gambling that helped trigger her predecessor Joseph Estrada’s ouster in 2001. Her son, Congressional Representive (Pampanga) Juan Miguel Arroyo, took an indefinate leave of absense on Wednesday. A day after promising, “if proven guilty, I will resign.”
In light of the above, I hearby reissue my prediction of August 2004, President Gloria “Ate Glo” Arroyo’s shelf life has about expired. If she lasts until Christmas it will be an amazing feat.
Cross posted On the Third Hand