THE Commission on Elections finally came to its senses today when it declared that the fraud-riddled election in Maguindanao was a failure.
There was no doubt in my mind, and in the mind of many others, that the vote in Maguindanao was irretrievably damaged by the blatant cheating, paying of voters, manipulation of the vote and outright snowflaking of the election returns. It was all witnessed by Asian observers and Filipino reporters who saw and videotaped the shenanigans with their cell phone cameras.
My colleague Romy said he thought President Arroyo may have had an attack of conscience when she met the Pope in Rome a few days ago and then ordered Comelec chief Benjamin Abalos to declare the Maguindanao election a failure. Perhaps, but I don't think we will ever know the truth. What is amazing is that Abalos was just a few days ago defending the voters of Maguindanao by saying that it would be undemocratic to throw out their votes. I think he missed the point that it would be even more undemocratic to include such damaged votes in the finally tally.
A special election is now going to be held in Maguindanao before the end of the month. The Comelec better make sure that this time around no snowflaking takes place and no Muslim leaders take it upon themselves to vote for their respective members of their community. Elections are supposed to reflect the will of individual voters, not of a whole community that has been badgered and intimidated into voting for a straight administration slate. As some bright mind at the Comelec observed last week, the Maguindanao election results were statistically improbable....indeed!