JUDGMENT DAY: We are inexorably moving toward the May 2010 judgment day, when the national elections will put to an acid test the maturity of our people and the integrity of our democratic institutions.
If the May 10 elections for a new president and a slate of congressional and local officials would be marred again by fraud and bloodshed, that could be disastrous. Anarchy and emigration could follow — and goodbye to this fair country.
On top of preparations is a Commission on Elections that has not fully recovered from the perfidy of poll commissioners and the charges of massive cheating that stained previous elections.
Having been given the P11.3-billion election automation outlay it had asked for, the Comelec, with chairman Jose Melo in charge, has no more reason to fail this time.
With machines taking over the electoral process, the usual hands-on involvement of voters will be minimized from balloting to counting, to canvassing. Losers who cry foul will have virtually no paper trail to document their protest. The price of automation?
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ETERNAL QUESTION: This Internet item is too good to let pass. Posting in the partidong-pandaigdigang-pilipino Yahoo group’s email service, nd dianalan shared this 2009 edition of the eternal question of why the chicken crossed the road. His posting:
THEY MADE guesses in 2007. They gave their two cents’ worth in 2008. This year, they will again try to answer the age-old question: “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Here’s why, according to some political personalities, government officials, and celebrities:
1. Former President Joseph Estrada: “Binantaan ko ang manok — kapag hindi kayo nagkaisa ng iyong mga sisiw sa pagtawid… ako na mismo ang tatawid at iiwan ko kayo sa kabilang side ng kalsada.”
2. Senator Manuel Villar: “What road? C-5 or Carlos P. Garcia Avenue?”
3. Senator Panfilo Lacson: “I absolutely had nothing to do with it. My conscience is clear.”
4. Senator Manuel Villar 2: “Anong chicken?! Itik yon!”
5. Vice President Noli De Castro: “Bakit ka lilipad pa kung kaya namang maglakad na?
6. Congressman Jose De Venecia: “I will not testify even if the Senate conducts a probe on that matter. I’ve already corroborated the statement of my son who saw the chicken when it crossed the road.”
7. Senator Mar Roxas: “Put*ang inaaaaaa! Ano bang tanong yan?! Paanong di maglalakad yon eh hindi naman siya marunong sumakay sa padyak?!”
8. First Gentleman Mike Arroyo: “I don’t care about the chicken. I am more concerned about the road. I think it needs repair. When is the bidding?”
9. Bayan Muna congressman Satur Ocampo: “Bilang protesta sa pang-aabuso sa karapatang pang-hayop ng mga multinasyonal at dayuhang korporasyong katulad ng KFC, Texas Chicken, Kenny Rogers, at McDonald’s.”
10. Broadcaster Ted Failon: “The chicken was having some problems. It tried to commit suicide by crossing that very dangerous road.”
11. Quezon City Police Officer: “We’re not sure yet if it crossed the road or not. The path where it allegedly crossed was apparently cleaned up, thereby contaminating the evidence.”
12. ABS-CBN: “Let us respect the privacy of the chicken.”
13. Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales: “That chicken is crazy!”
14. Senator Richard Gordon: “I was able to talk to someone from the other side of the road and he confirmed that they’re holding the chicken hostage. There’s proof of life.”
15: Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro: “The good senator is endangering the life of the chicken. He should let the task force do the talking.”
16. Brother Eddie Villanueva: “Jeremiah Chapter 9, Verse 10: I will weep for the mountains and wail for the desert pastures. For they are desolate and empty of life; the lowing of cattle is heard no more; the birds and wild animals all have fled.”
17. HK Magazine columnist Chip Tsao: “You’re a nation of chickens!”
18. Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta: “Why not? It has served its minimum sentence. Allow it to walk free!”
19: Subic rape victim Suzette “Nicole” Nicolas: “To marry!”
20. Alabang Boys: “To parteE!”
21: Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio: “To quarry!”
22. DoJ State Prosecutor John Resado: “I will answer that question if you deposit 1.6 million pesos to my BDO account.”
23. Fashion designer Boyet Fajardo: “Mga leche kayo! Hindi n’yo ako kilala? Ako si Boyet Fajardo! Fashion designer ako, hindi sabungero! At yang put*ng-inang manok na yan walang kuwentang hayop!”
24. Pambansang kamao Manny Pacquiao: “ABS-CBN lawyers made the chicken do it, you know.”
25. Actress Annabelle Rama: “Ang kapal ng mukha ng manok na yan. Matapos kong bigyan ng patuka, siniraan pa ako sa mga alaga kong sisiw! Idedemanda ko siya! At sasampal-sampalin ko pa pag nakita ko! Sinimulan n’ya yan… tatapusin ko!”
26. TV executive Wilma Galvante: “I helped the chicken cross the road, yes, but I categorically deny asking for eggs in return. Hindi kami nasusuhulan dito.”
27. Dr. Hayden Kho: “I am not exactly sure why, but I do have proof that the chicken crossed the road. I videotaped it secretly.”
28. Dr. Vicki Belo: “I told the chicken: If you want to look like Piolo Pascual or Dingdong Dantes, stay with Belo. But if you want to look like Boy Abunda, go to the other side of the road.”
29. Madam Auring: “Nakikita ko… nararamdaman ko… gaganda ang buhay ng chicken this year. Mangingitlog pa siya nang marami.”
(The next day, Tabloid headline: “Manok… nasagasaan, patay!”
And due to insistent public demand, I’d like to belatedly add another answer to the question: “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
30. Senator Lito Lapid: “All of the above!”