Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Oplan Mercury Rising should be thwarted at all costs and the Comelec should order the withdrawal of the AFP from election duty

Tuesday May 8, 2007

Oplan Mercury Rising should be thwarted at all costs and the Comelec should order the withdrawal of the AFP from election duty

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that the charge made by retired generals that there is a government-orchestrated plan to manipulate the May 14 elections and swing the votes in favor of Team Unity deserves not only the Commission on Election's attention but the rest of the Filipino people as well. He said that Malacanang is risking another people's rising if it pushes ahead with its plans for fraud.

Retired generals said that Oplan Mercury Rising involves cheating in Western Visayas, Eastern Mindanao, Caraga, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Pampanga, Camarines Norte, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Lanao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Sharif Kabunsuan. The fraud operations are also said to directly involve the military upon the directions of Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Hermogenes Esperon.

"Malacanang can issue all the denials that it wants but its record speaks against it. Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself has become the AFP's number one endorser and she remains in power mostly because of the military's support and backing. It's highly likely that her refusal to heed the calls for sanctions against the military over the issue of the extrajudicial killings is directly linked to her need to secure the AFP's help in yet again perpetrating massive electoral fraud," he said.

The activist lawmaker said that given this recent bombshell, the Comelec should immediately reconsider its approval for the AFP's involvement on May 14. He said that besides ordering their pull-out from the urban centers, the military should be kept away from the polling precincts and all election paraphernalia.

"At all cost this Oplan Mercury Rising or any other administration plot to secure a fake victory should be derailed and thwarted. Pres. Arroyo is tempting fate is she insists on pushing on with this electoral fraud campaign her think-tank and the military have cooked up. There will be another EDSA People Power uprising if Team Unity secures an ill-gotten victory because Filipinos know that there is no way TU can strike a major win against the Genuine Opposition without there being massive fraud involved," he said.

Beltran also said that it was certain that all government and military orchestrated fraud campaign also targets the votes of the progressive party-lists and not just the senatorial candidates of GO.

"The party-list elections have become a full-blown war between the progressive party-lists led by Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women's Party and the Malacanang-front party-lists. The military are the henchmen tasked to carry out Malacanang's dirty electoral tactics to score an equally foul victory against the progressive party-lists who are among the administration's staunchest critics," he said.


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