Not only Fernando Poe Jr. is shooting himself in the foot by prematurely announcing his victory and generally confirming his inadequacies. The Arroyo government is, too. In the brief span of four days, it has succeeded in planting the seeds of suspicion in millions of otherwise complacent minds that it might indeed have orchestrated not only the nation-wide assault against the six party list groups its National Security Adviser claims are communist fronts, but also large-scale fraud during and after the May 10 elections.

The fraud is fairly well-established, as is the disenfranchisement of close to a million voters. What is yet to be proven is whether the disenfranchisement was selective and not the result of plain Comelec incompetence

Prof. Luis V. Teodoro is a former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, where he used to teach journalism. He writes political commentary for BusinessWorld.

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