No-El in the works
A TEXT message warning of a bomb blast at a Metro Manila supermall circulated early in the second week of May. It was supposed to be the handiwork of the Abu Sayyaf. The Armed Forces of the Philippines was quick to dismiss the rumor as baseless, saying that it had no intelligence report on the matter.
Although there are security measures in place to dispel fears of terror attacks, we cannot just brush off false alarms like this, especially at this time. Usually threats like this are sowed as an initial step toward declaring no elections. Indeed there is talk that Oplan No-El is in the works.
In the desire of the administration officials to prosecute opposition stalwarts and their supporters and in the President’s resolve to have the Bangsamoro Basic Law enacted by Congress, it is not farfetched that the 2016 elections would be aborted. Giving some credence to this scuttlebutt is the fact that Mr. Aquino’s Liberal Party has not yet come up clearly with a name of the party’s presidential candidate. Mar Roxas as LP’s standard-bearer remains in the realm of possibilities, and he may have been already ruled out because of his unpopularity and previous blunders.
The recent appointment of another close P-Noy buddy to the Commission on Elections, in the person of former Presidential Commission on Good Government chair Andres Bautista, is also quite telling: It indicates that the present administration would want things to go the LP way. Bautista has always been in the inner circle of the Aquino presidency. His transfer from the PCGG, which he served for
quite some time, to the Comelec as chair means that he is indispensable to Mr. Aquino and his administration.
Hopefully, Oplan No-El remains that—a plan. The so-called “tuwid na daan” has been in fact crooked all the way. Through all the almost five years Mr. Aquino has kept us trudging down that road, we can’t find a single reason that would justify an extension of his “nonleadership.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.