The “Hello Garci” issue refuses to die. It was denied to rest with the adamant rejection of the impeachment process no less than twice filed in the House of Representatives. The avid pro-administration allies themselves resolutely denied the incumbent national leadership to have its side heard.
The result is disastrous for the incumbent itself. It now continues to be haunted with the by-word shameful triad of lying, cheating and stealing. It thus also continues to be strongly distrusted and disrespected. It could be at times telling the truth. Yet, it is met with disbelief. It could be having good intentions every now and then. Still, it continues to be ridiculed.
That is why no less than three years after, the “Hello Gari” debacle continues to haunt many people. They still talk about it. They continue to crack big jokes about it. But more than all these, there is both the reservation and apprehension that the May 2007 Elections could again be tarnished with the same shameful chaos.
Even the CBCP expressed its fears for the integrity of the forthcoming elections. It clearly stated: “As a nation, we cannot afford yet another controversial electoral exercise that further aggravates social distrust and hopelessness”. That is why it called upon all the dioceses and parishes in the whole country to work together “to make this year’s election credible.”
This is why more and more religious groups, NGOs and other private organizations are now coming up with plans and programs with the same objective: make the mid-term elections this year as honest and acceptable as possible. They are well aware of the hurdles they face: formidable machinery plus bottomless fund of the administration. To stay in power, there are no holds barred. Nothing sacred. No one is inexpendable.
One thing is certain, it cannot be said that people by and large are not wary of the dangers that lie ahead before, during and after May this year. If they succeed in their resolve to safeguard the ethical soundness of the forthcoming elections, well and good. If not, it cannot be said that they did nothing.
Meantime: remember the previous gross elections cheating! Remember the cheating operators! Remember the big cheating beneficiaries! Remember “Hello Garci”!
22 February 2007