Mar Roxas has conceded the presidential election to Rodrigo Duterte, but his Liberal Party still has something up its sleeve. After conceding defeat, Roxas urged his followers in the LP to guard the votes of his vice presidential running mate, Leni Robredo. As of that time, Robredo was in a tight race against her main rival, Bongbong Marcos.
The Roxas defeat only means Roxas is no longer in the LP political plans for the predictable future. It does not mean the LP is giving up on its desire to stay in power. In fact, the LP intends to remain in power through a Robredo vice presidency. That is why Roxas urged his followers to guard Robredo’s votes.
Last week, this column discussed the LP “secret plan” to seize the presidency from Duterte through Robredo. The plan calls for a Robredo victory over Bongbong. After that, LP strategists will exploit every opportunity to embarrass Duterte and portray him as a ruthless killer. The LP plan culminates with “EDSA IV”—a “people power” revolt to oust Duterte and to install Robredo before the end of 2016.
Under this arrangement, the LP regains power, and President Benigno Aquino III will be assured that he will not face criminal charges for the large-scale corruption under his administration.
More details of the LP “secret plan” have become obvious.
The plan starts with measures to prevent the public and the media from getting suspicious about the lead Robredo currently has over Bongbong in the election. Robredo’s lead is suspicious because after trailing Bongbong by more than a million votes on the first day, Robredo managed to catch up two days later, and now leads Bongbong by 200,000.
A week before election day, Roxas was fourth place in the surveys. Surprisingly, Roxas made it to second place a few days prior to election day. Roxas’ sudden leap in the surveys is incredible because the number of previously undecided survey respondents was far less than the number of respondents added to those already supporting Roxas.
Perhaps, the suspicious lead Robredo has over Bongbong can be traced to the Novotel controversy which took place in the early morning of election day, May 9, 2016. The news media discovered that 20 foreign executives of Smartmatic were actually billeted at the Novotel hotel located at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City. The LP general campaign headquarters is located at Novotel, and the Araneta Center is owned by the family of Roxas.
Since Smartmatic provided the voting machines used in the elections, the contracted stay of 20 of its executives at the same hotel where the LP general campaign headquarters is located invites suspicion.
Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista admitted that the foreign executives from Smartmatic were in town to help the Comelec in the elections. Bautista added that the foreign executives are assigned to the Comelec’s National Technical Support Center located near Talayan Village in northern Quezon City—which is far, far away from the Comelec election command center at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
It is imperative for the LP to cover up the Novotel controversy because it raises embarrassing and incriminating questions. Foreigners are not allowed to get involved in Philippine elections, so why were the foreign executives of Smartmatic involved in the election? Does the Comelec have the power to amend the law and permit foreigners to intervene in the polls? If the role of the foreign executives is purely technical but vital, why were they not based at the Comelec election command center at the PICC, which ought to be the logical base of their “technical support” operations?
There are many fine hotels in Metropolitan Manila for the Smartmatic foreign executives to select from. Why did they choose to billet themselves at Novotel where the LP general campaign headquarters was located? Were they hosted by the LP? If so, then the LP will have a lot of explaining to do.
On the other hand, if the Comelec paid for the hotel accommodations of the foreign executives, why did the Comelec allow them to stay in the same hotel where the LP general campaign headquarters is located?
If Smartmatic paid for the hotel accommodations, then that means these foreign executives were in the country in their own private capacities to help the Comelec in the elections—but in violation of the legal prohibition against alien involvement in Philippine elections.
Clearly, therefore, the LP cannot afford to let the Novotel controversy develop into a scandal. This means the LP must keep public attention away from this controversy.
Notwithstanding this “Novotel-gate scandal,” the next step in the LP plan is to organize public opinion against Bongbong Marcos to justify the proclamation of Robredo as
the winner in the vice presidential race. Therefore, references to martial law will be made against Bongbong in the media, in order to make an anomalous Robredo victory over Bongbong palatable even to voters who do not like the LP, and who did not vote for Robredo.
Then three to six months into the Duterte presidency, the LP strategists will religiously monitor everything Duterte and his officers will do, and take notice of each shortcoming. These shortcomings will then be highlighted in the news media. At the same time, Robredo will be portrayed by the LP as an ideal substitute for Duterte.
Since Duterte promised to solve the law and order problem in the country within three to six months from his assuming office, pro-LP elements and hirelings will disseminate as much anti-Duterte publicity they can generate during this period, for the purpose of making Duterte look like he is unable to fulfill his campaign promise. When that happens, the LP strategists will urge the unsuspecting public to collectively demand the resignation of Duterte. If Duterte refuses to resign, the “people power” strategy will be resorted to.