Press Release
January 21, 2010


The Liberal Party will block any and all attempts to frustrate the people's will in the May 2010 national elections, Sen. Mar Roxas vowed today, as he warned against a possible sinister government scheme to stymie the election of the country's next leaders.

Roxas, who is the president of the Liberal Party, noted the build-up of complex events, which he said could adversely affect the nationwide automation of this year's polls.

"Gagawin talaga lahat ng administrasyong ito upang manatili sa poder. Hindi sila basta-basta bibitiw sa kanilang pangarap na magtuloy-tuloy ang kanilang paghahari-hari (This government will really do everything to stay in power. They cannot give up their dreams of continued supremacy)," he said even as he promised to sit down with other party leaders and discuss how best to address the latest political developments in the country.

The Visayan senator noted how recent events seem to point to the common end goal of incumbents holding on to their positions and exercising control over key agencies of the government.

First, he pointed out, was the questionable recall and transfer of police directors without the knowledge or permission of local government units, as required by existing laws. This was made worse by electoral violence in the countryside, victimizing mostly opposition candidates and supporters.

Another is the delay in the arrival of the machines that would be used for the automated polls. While the first batch of machines have been delivered and tested, only a handful passed the testing conducted by the Department of Science and Technology. Smartmatic International Corp-Total Information Management Corp. has only finished manufacturing 40,000 units out of the 82,200 needed for the polls.

There are also worries that the automation system was susceptible to hacking, contrary to assurances from the Commission on Elections that it was virtually fraud resistant.

These concerns were capped with the filing at the House of Representatives of House Bill 7108, or the "Holdover Act of 2010," which proposes the extension of terms of incumbent members of the Senate and the House of Representatives in case of a failure of elections.

"This administration has started to test the waters. If this proposal gets strong support in the House and in the Senate, then a Malacañang ally could easily file a complementary measure, this time proposing the extension of the term of the president supposedly to allow for a good transition period. Hindi puwede iyan (That is not allowed)," Roxas stressed.

"Haharangin namin sa Kongreso na maipasa ang panukalang ito. Hindi kami papayag na mabalewala ang ating mga boses kung anong direksyon ang dapat tahakin ng ating bansa (We will block the approval of this measure. We cannot allow this government to again steal our right to dictate the direction that our country would take)," he added.

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