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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Benigno C. Aquino III - Presumptive President-elect

By Aurora J. Casimpan

Tacloban City (May 24) -- It's all over but the proclamation!

Presumptive President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has received congratulatory messages from two powerful countries, China and Spain. The gestures came after American envoy to the Philippines Harry Thomas, Jr. visited Aquino at his Times Street residence in Quezon City. The American ambassador who came with the embassy's staff and the traditional gift personally congratulated Aquino.

Thomas' visit and the aforementioned countries' congratulatory messages, even if Congress has yet to declare Aquino as winner of the presidential derby, are seen as a sign that the recently-conducted elections bear the will of the people and need to be respected.

Notwithstanding Senator Edgardo Angara's comment that the greetings of foreign leaders and envoys are premature and the controversy of the masked man alleging irregularities in the election, the US envoy's visit sends a powerful message from the US government that delaying the proclamation and tampering with the results of the automated election would not be viewed kindly by the nations who watched and observed the elections as credible.

The flow of diplomatic recognition of Aquino as president-elect is a sign of legitimacy of his administration and such would be embraced by foreign countries.

Apparently, Congress is taking its sweetest time to convene and start the canvassing of election results. Congress probably did not anticipate that the automated machines would relay results soonest and done in a matter of hours and not days or weeks.

Members of Congress election canvassers should have been schooled firstly on what automated elections meant and how fast it would bring in results of the elections. Speaker Prospero Nograles does not seem inclined to hurry up the canvassing, saying that accuracy cannot be sacrificed over speed.

The Comelec and the PPCRV are on parallel course in the counting of the election results, but still Congress insists on its mandate as the institution given the task of true canvassers of votes and therefore will do the honor of proclaiming the winners.

Even if Benigno Aquino III has been visibly congratulated by the representative of the most powerful country in the world, an emerging world power China, the old world government of Spain and the influential European Union, the Filipino people need to wait for Congress to do its job.

Taxes which coated the pork barrels of canvassers seem to be viewed as the right to be received and not as motivation to work in fasttracking the proclamation of President-elect Benigno C. Aquino III.

That the Filipinos can finally have a sigh of relief that their votes were counted upon the speedy proclamation of the presumptive president is falling in deaf ears.

Let the canvassing start! (PIA-8) [top]

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