Wednesday, May 23, 2007

MBC and MAP Joint Statement on Election Irregularities in Maguindanao

Via our friends at Black & White Movement, here's a joint statement from the Makati Business Club (MBC) and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) on the reported irregularities in Maguindanao during the recent local elections.
"MAKATI BUSINESS CLUB E-NEWSLETTER
22 MAY 2007
MBC and MAP Joint Statement

Let the People Decide

We are deeply disturbed by reports that no actual voting took place in some parts of Maguindanao and that teachers were instructed to fill up ballots. If true, we are appalled that such spurious votes are now being canvassed at the municipal and provincial levels.

These reports gain credence as the COMELEC-accredited poll watchers have complained that they were not allowed to carry out their responsibilities. The NAMFREL Maguindanao head reported that his volunteers were not given their copies of election returns or certificates of canvass.

If indeed there has been a failure of elections in Maguindanao and possibly in other provinces in the ARMM, yet the votes are canvassed up to the national level, the outcome of the senatorial election could be materially affected.

By contrast, the local elections appear to have been credible in many other places in the country. The people's will has been respected, the losing candidates have accepted the results graciously and the markets have responded positively. If the process in the Senate race is as credible, we will have achieved success as a democratic nation.

Even as the nation awaits the results of the 2007 elections, we in the business sector are more keenly interested in the integrity of the electoral process. If the elections are not credible, there will be political instability which will affect overall confidence and our economic momentum. Businesses may grow, but certainly they will not grow at their full potential.

We therefore welcome the decision of the COMELEC to motu propio investigate the situation in Maguindanao but urge them to do so as soon as possible and not wait until after the special election in Lanao del Sur. These anomalies have happened in previous elections in the same place. We cannot afford for it to happen again. If nothing is done to uncover what truly happened, it will be a travesty.

Democracy in the Philippines is on trial today and much of our country's well-being depends on the credibility of this election. We call on all those involved to respect the true will of the people.


RAMON R. DEL ROSARIO JR.
Chairman
Makati Business Club

ALBERT F. DEL ROSARIO
President
Management Association of the Philippines


22 May 2007

Copyright 2007 © Makati Business Club"

1 comment:

Manila Bay Watch said...

Glad MBC is finally taking the moral high ground.

When big business steps in, Gloria and Abalos have no other choice but to watch out.