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JPE: detractors want to control National Board of Canvassers

Senate President Juan Ponce Ernile said yesterday that groups pressing for the election of the new Senate chief ahead of the May 10 polls want to gain control of the Senate when it sits together with the House of Representatives as the National Board of Canvassers.

The veteran legislator explained that those seeking to unseat him from the Senate presidency are dead set to install their own people in the national canvassing board and could be responsible for unfounded talks about possible failure of elections and a government takeover by a military junta if the country’s first automated polls fail.

“Gusto nilang makontrol ang proseso sa canvassing ng boto para sa presidente at bise presidente kaya gusto nilang hawakan ang Senate president,” Enrile, told a radio interview in Cotabato City.

“Gusto nila tao nila ‘yon. Gusto nila makontrol nila ‘yon. Gusto nila puppet nila,” added Enrile, who is running for reelection under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

Enrile identified the political party of a presidential candidate which is behind the plot to oust him by pushing for the selection of the new Senate chief before the May electoral exercise and sowing fear and confusion among the people that there will be a power and leadership vacuum.

“Alam ko sa karamihan diyan ay kapangkat ng isang candidate for president na sabik hawakan ang Malacanang,” he said, “Sila ang nagpapaandar niyan at nananakot.”

Enrile assured the Filipino people though that these attempts will be thwarted and that winners in various electoral contests, particularly those in the constitutional line of succession, will be proclaimed.

“Ako ay 44 na taon nang naglilingkod sa bayan. Huwag po kayong matakot,” Enrile said. “Pananakot lang ‘yan at panlilito sa bayan at ginugulo lang ang isipan ng taumbayan.” #