“Give it up Mar, if you cheat, you’ll destroy this country.” This is what former North Cotabato Governor Manny Piñol begs of Mar Roxas as stated in an open letter written by the ex-governor.
The open letter is posted in Piñol’s Facebook account. Full text as follows:
Open Letter to Mar Roxas
‘GIVE IT UP, MAR, IF YOU CHEAT
YOU’LL DESTROY THIS COUNTRY’
By Manny Piñol
Over the last few days, I have been reading strange and, to some extent, alarming statements that you and your camp have issued.
Declarations like “I don’t need the Iglesia vote to win,” “It’s my turn to top the surveys,” and similar statements expressing extreme confidence in winning the elections send shivers down my spine.
I could only make two assumptions:
1. You’re making the bold statements to prop up the sagging morale of members of the Liberal Party due to the massive defections;
2. You’re trying to condition the minds of the people in preparation for a massive cheating operations.
The first assumption is acceptable and could easily be understood.
The second, which is the massive cheating, is something that you will really have to study and restudy before employing it.
You see, here is the truth.
1. If we are to believe the surveys (I believe you do because you jumped up and down following an increase of 2% in your ratings), Rody Duterte is leading by a wide 11% points over you and Grace Poe. This will widen further with the endorsement of the Iglesia Ni Cristo and as big political groups join the bandwagon.
2. You will lose heavily in Mindanao with about 12-million voters and not even the planned trip of President Aquino to Mindanao to meet with four governors of the Bangsamoro Area could change that. I don’t think you and the President really understand this but for the Bangsamoro, this is no longer about party loyalty. This is about Maratabat, the Moro pride because for the first time the country will have a President with a Moro blood. No amount of money could change that. Besides, nobody will be intimidated by a President who will be out of office in less than two months and who could not even respond to the threat of beheading by the Abu Sayyaf.
3. You can’t win in Eastern Visayas where people I talked to yesterday say that even if they are given as much as P3,000 (yes, vote buying in these areas go as high as P3,000 per vote), they will still vote for Duterte. You will get clobbered in the Cebuano-speaking Central Visayas where people identify with Duterte. Your position in your own region, Western Visayas, is precarious and you better monitor your own province, Capiz, because the last time I was there I heard a lot of grumblings against you.
4. You’ve lost Bicol to Duterte and Poe. Did you see the crowd which gathered for the Duterte rally in Leni Robredo’s own place, Naga City? Or in Sorsogon, Chiz Escudero’s home province? You can’t win in Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog. The last time I heard, there will be political realignments in Pampanga and Pangasinan. You can’t win in Balance Luzon.
5. You’ve attacked Duterte with made up accusations of ill-gotten wealth including the $ account which you personally raised after depositing $10 in his account. The whole thing exploded right in your face when it was proven false. You have used Sen. Antonio Trillanes as your attack dog using unverified and unvalidated data and information and the bombs that the Senator promised to explode have turned out to be duds. Here’s the strange thing I would like to share with you: every time you attack Duterte, people defend him and his stocks keep on rising. The best example is this page where from 1.8-million readership, I’m now up to 7-million. It’s working in the reverse.
So here’s the thing: Where will you get the bump which will push you up and gain votes to overcome the estimated 5-million vote-lead of Duterte plus the estimated 1.8-million Iglesia votes?
I know of only one way to do that and that is massive cheating.
Now, let me share with you my thoughts on cheating.
This is a presidential election like no other. This could not even be compared to the historic victory of Cory Aquino over Ferdinand Marcos because that was victory achieved out of hatred for Marcos.
People have chosen Duterte not because they hate you but because they are angry at the system and they are afraid of the threats of drugs, criminality and corruption.
This is actually a people’s movement and if you and President Aquino stand in the way of this enormous mass seeking change and protection from fear, the results could be catastrophic for this country.
There would be civil unrest and I even see Mindanao and portion of the Visayas breaking away from the republic.
This is not a threat but an analysis based on the sentiments of people now.
I know you have noble intentions in running for President but the problem is political leaders derive their powers from the masses.
You may look at Duterte with contempt and derision because of his foul mouth and his self-confessed flaws as a human being. But the people would like him to be their President and there’s nothing that you and the President could do to stop it. That’s how democracy works.
So this leaves you with two options:
1. Cheat but face the risk of creating anarchy in the country and even the disingtegration of this Republic. Worse, you will be remembered in history as the grandson of a Philippine President whose greed for power led to the demise of the country that his grandfather stood and fought for.
2. Play this game fairly and submit to the will of the people. If you play fair, you will preserve the legacy of your grandfather and father who were among the great leaders of this country. A defeat now will not be the end of the world for you or your dreams to contribute in making this country great. Remember Abraham Lincoln?
Give it up like a gentleman. Accept the will of the people. Otherwise, you will destroy this country.
Anyway, there is still 2022 to look forward to.
In the meantime, I suggest you watch Duterte and learn how to be yourself, showing people your human frailties and weakenesses but still capture their hearts and win the Presidency.
Several cheating schemes has surfaced in the news in terms of vote buying and even overseas Filipino workers’ votes switching to Roxas in their voter’s receipt even though they voted to Duterte.
Recently, an anti-Duterte campaign allegedly funded by the Aquino administration also materialized.