Monday, August 03, 2009


There must be another group somewhere out there more credible than the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL). With the 2010 elections just 'round the corner, I dread the thought that Comelec will again deputize the NAMFREL and another equally-partisan group - the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV). Both groups have such well-sounding nomenclatures, but that's really just about it. Legions were disappointed with the way their leaders manipulated the NAMFREL to suit many of their politico friends. A considerable number of those are still in high positions to this day.

These groups have been suspected of meddling in past elections to favor those candidates preferred by its leaders. Hence, once a meddler, always a meddler.

The NAMFREL was a brainchild of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the fifties, when it helped secure the election of then Defense Secretary Ramon Magsaysay as President. The CIA played dirty tricks on Senator Claro M. Recto, a third-party candidate in the 1953 elections, whom it suspected of being sympathetic to the leftists.

Colonel Edward Lansdale, who closely worked with Filipinos in and out of government who were identified with the right, was instrumental in the creation of NAMFREL. Lansdale later worked in Vietnam, using many of the tactics that worked in the Philippines.

Surely, the nation deserves credible institutions to ensure the sanctity of the ballot.

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