By Alex P. Vidal
“Winning or losing of the election is less important than strengthening the country.”—Indira Gandhi
FILIPINOS interested to put an exclamation point on questions surrounding the May 9, 2022 presidential election should take a look at the three suggestions made by retired Supreme Court Justice Artemio V. Panganiban.
Saying he “can see three rays of light,” Panganiban made the following suggestions in his “With Due Respect” column in the Inquirer.Net’s opinion page:
First, the Court may, at its sole discretion, relax the Rules of Court and require the Comelec and the other respondents to comment on the petition (filed on Nov. 3, 2022 by Eliseo Rio Jr., Augusto Lagman, and Franklin Ysaac as a “politically neutral urgent petition” in the Supreme Court), without necessarily giving due course to it.
Second, the trio can amend their petition, or better still, withdraw it and file a new one for prohibition to stop the Comelec from using the Smartmatic system in future elections because it is vulnerable to rigging, hacking, cheating, fraud, and/or preloading of data. The new petition must be BACKED UP BY FACTS AND TRUTHS, not by mere allegations, suspicions, or speculations.
Panganiban said this “because of an alleged POST FACTO admission by the Comelec—an admission that was made via media only recently and thus not included in the original petition—that the 20 million votes in question were not transmitted through the telcos, as the petitioners and the public were made to believe, but through a ‘single, private, internet protocol address 192.168.0.2.’”
Third, withdraw it and let Congress start an inquiry into the IP 192.168.0.2 mystery in aid of legislation to amend our election laws to prevent possible rigging, hacking, cheating, fraud, and /or preloading of data.
It’s getting interesting.
Below is the email I received from New York Governor Kathy Hochul which was also presumably sent to other New Yorkers:
Alex, Exactly two years ago today (August 24), I became your Governor. I work every day on your behalf to address the needs of New Yorkers.
I’m sure you’ve seen that people are coming to New York to seek asylum status in the United States, so they can find safety and ultimately work to support themselves. Over the past year, more than 100,000 asylum seekers have arrived in our state, resulting in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
We have provided enormous resources to support cities and counties — including securing $1.5 billion to provide shelter, National Guard troops, public health support, transit assistance, case management, and legal services to asylum seekers.
We have managed thus far without substantive support from Washington, despite the fact immigration is a national — and inherently federal — issue. But New York has shouldered this burden alone for too long, and this crisis is not slowing down.
Earlier today (August 24), I sent a formal request to the White House calling for a series of actions to support the more than 100,000 asylum seekers in New York. This includes:
—Calling for expedited work authorization for asylum seekers, so we can get people out of shelter and into the workforce
—Requesting federal financial assistance for housing, schools, health care, legal services, case management, and shelter we provide to asylum seekers
—Identifying federally-owned land and sites to use as temporary shelters, as asylum seekers await legal work status
—Reimbursement for the costs of our National Guard deployment
These individuals are literally fleeing for their lives, whether it be from political strife, gang violence, extreme poverty, or persecution. They are coming to this country with the same goal my grandparents did to build a better life for their family.
And while my grandpa started as a migrant farm worker, he and millions who came before us lived the American Dream that has beaconed people from across the globe to be welcomed by the Statue of Liberty — because he could work legally.
At the end of the day, New York will continue to be that beacon of hope and freedom from oppression. We are a state that cherishes our diversity and inclusiveness, and we always will be.
So, my message to the federal government is simple: Let them work.
Let them begin to build their lives here and contribute to our great state, as so many of our forebears once did before. Ever Upward, Gov. Kathy Hochul
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)