Friday, May 7, 2010
RP POLLS: ALL'S LEFT ARE PRAYERS
After weeks of pounding the corridors of the State Department and Capitol Hill to drum up support for Philippine elections, Fil-Am leader Loida Nicolas Lewis says it now all boils down to that most primal of human resolutions – prayers.
“We have done everything we could and now it’s all up to God,” Lewis said at the conclusion of the two-day Washington Briefing for the Nation’s Catholic Community at the Trinity University.
Lewis, a staunch supporter of Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, has been raising the alarm about a possible failure of elections.
She echoed fears President Arroyo might sabotage the elections to keep her hold on power. Malacanang has consistently denied the charges.
But Lewis used her considerable clout as a Democratic Party stalwart in New York to alert State Secretary Hillary Clinton and dozens of lawmakers on Capitol Hill on the dangers lurking behind Monday’s national elections.
Before this, a State Department official revealed that the reports they were getting painted a different, rosier picture of the elections.
Lewis’ outspoken advocacy for Philippine elections prompted the State Department to take a second look.
She was especially critical of the automated counting machines being used for the first time in the Philippines, and was fighting for a parallel manual count.
She doesn’t believe the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is prepared to hold an automated count.
“Thank God the Supreme Court rejected the postponement of elections but we can’t do anything about the parallel count except to pray,” Lewis averred.
She will lead Fil-Ams in a prayer vigil for peaceful and honest elections on Sunday at the Lorenzo Ruiz chapel in New York.
“We will spend Mother’s Day there and stay there until midnight,” Lewis averred.
Lewis was one of the conveners of the maiden staging of the Washington Briefing, which drew previously warring political leaders under one roof.
Speakers included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republic Party chairman Michael Steele.
The conference discussed a wide array of subjects, from the influence played by Catholics on the healthcare debate to the sex scandals plaguing the church to the “Catholic vote” in this year’s US midterm elections and the 2012 national polls.