Daily 20/20, a newly formed blog on issues that matter, provides us an insider look on what really caused the initial break up between TIM and Smartmatic and what caused them to go back to the negotiating table again and sign the poll automation contract. Let me add though that inspite of this, people must be very vigilant since it is not enough that Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo already verbally committed herself yesterday to push thru with the elections. The palace only reacted when US Ambassador Kristie Kenney (who, by the way, will remain as US ambassador to the Philippines contrary to reports) issued a statement reiterating the desire and commitment of the US to see the Philippine government adhere to the democratic process of succession. Kenney's statement reiterated a previous one announced by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates but spiced with an offer for Mrs. Arroyo to meet US President Barack Obama "later this year."
We, as a united Filipino people, should constantly bear in mind that the fight, this struggle towards the restoration of the moral integrity of our governmental institutions, should end only when Mrs. Arroyo steps down from power on June 30, 2010 and hands the reins of power to the new president.
There is still enough time for Mrs. Arroyo and her minions to do some mischief. For example, it can still marshall the forces of evil (let me use the words of Filipinovoices colleague Bencard, a lawyer loyal to Mrs. Arroyo, referring me and Buencam and Ding and a host of others as "forces of hate") to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly.
They can still cause great misery should they proceed with their initial plan to oust AFP Chief of Staff Victor Ibrado from power and install members of PMA Class 1978. Remember that despite the automation of the polls, this administration can still pull its strong muscles by dominating regions with their loyal military and police officials. We all know that police officials and military generals caused the Hello Garci scandal. They were mobilized to actually assist in the cheating operations.
The only way for us to really ensure a clean, honest AND reputable elections is simply pressure this government to act as a TRANSITION government. Meaning, it should maintain a status of neutrality. It should at least allow some breathing room for government to act normally, with no pressure coming from minions of the First Family.