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Rumors within the Comelec

/ 12:01 AM March 14, 2017

My sources in Malacañang say Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andy Bautista visited the Palace recently and talked with President Digong.

What did Bautista want from the President since the elections are over and done with?

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Hmm.

Did the conversation Bautista have with the President touch on rumors—allegedly spread by disgruntled Comelec insiders—that candidate Rodrigo Duterte garnered 21 million votes instead of 16 million?

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Yes, the rumors are no longer important or worth discussing since Digong won anyway.

But they should not be disregarded for the sake of clean and honest elections in the future.

If the rumors that Digong got 21 million votes, instead of 16 million, have a grain of truth, then Bongbong Marcos probably won the vice presidency instead of Leni Robredo.

What about another rumor—still coming from inside the Comelec—that Bautista wants out as Comelec chair and is seeking another government post?

If this is true, was it taken up during Bautista’s secret and recent visit to the Palace?

A poster in one of the government offices I once visited reads:

Rules of the house.

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Rule No. 1: The Boss is always right.

Rule No. 2: When in doubt, (whether he is right or wrong) refer to Rule No. 1.

Members of President Digong’s Cabinet should read the “rules of the house” over and over again until these are ingrained in their minds.

If memory serves me right, then President Joseph “Erap” Estrada once scolded a close adviser for insisting that he was wrong in one of his public pronouncements.

Erap told his adviser: “Mag-presidente ka muna bago mo pilitin na mali ako (You should become President first before you insist that I am wrong).”

And yet, the adviser didn’t announce to the public that Erap was wrong; he just told the President in private.

Contrary to what many think or believe, President Duterte listens to advice. But it must be given in a manner that neither humiliates nor embarrasses him in public. Otherwise, one risks stirring a hornet’s nest. To paraphrase Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, advice is seldom welcome because those who are perceived to need it the most like it the least.

The words above are not mine. They were written by Assistant Executive Jesus Melchor V. Quitain in his View from the Palace column in this paper’s opinion page yesterday.

Some more excerpts from Quitain’s column:

“At the risk of being repetitious, I say that advice must be given with care so that it does not irritate the President.

“The President need not be told twice. He listens, he remembers and he acts accordingly and appropriately. In rare instances, it may take some time for him to act, but act he will.

“That has always been his norm of conduct during the almost 16 years that I was privileged to work as a public official in Davao City under his leadership.”

I have reprinted some of Quitain’s words so people who missed his column yesterday would be able to read parts of it now.

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TAGS: Andres Bautista, Commission on Elections, Philippine news updates, President Duterte
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