Philippines Election: Bongbong in the lead

By Hannah Daygo

MANILA, Philippines –Filipinos locked their votes on their presidential bets last Monday,

9th of May, late dictator’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., poised to be the next

president for the next six years.

Partial and unofficial results show that 31 million Filipinos cast their ballots for Mr. Marcos

Jr., according to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) transparency server.

As of 6:02 p.m. Thursday, Mr. Marcos Jr.  leads by 16.2 million ballots, against

Vice President Leni Robredo with 14,822,041 votes, equivalent to 27.99 percent of the

electronically submitted results.

However, even with Mr. Marcos Jr., on the lead, manual validation of the election returns

(ER’s) are still needed to be audited, meaning the Parish Pastoral Council of Responsible

Voting (PPCRV) has to manually validate the ER’s.

Manual validation of ERs is done to assure that the transparency server’s digitally transmitted

election results match the printed election results.

In an interview with reporters last Tuesday, 10th of May, PPCRV’s Chair, Myla

Villanueva said that: “There are no irregularities in voting turnout.”

On Twitter, Kontra Daya (Against Fraud), a Philippines watchdog group, reported

that the May 9th elections was “marred by fraud, irregularities,” on their status report, there

were 1,371 voting machine errors.

More than 3,000 reports of possible electoral anomalies have been received through our

various channels by Vote Report PH.

Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop, Socrates Villegas, addressed reporters how he witnessed

“heroic and generous” young volunteers at the PPCRV Command Centre since the start of the counting and auditing process.

“We can never pay you, because only God can pay you and God knows your sacrifices…the

Lord knows everything, and the Lord knows the good hearts of these young people,” said

Archbishop Villegas.

PPCRV had received 24,640 ERs, which was only 23 percent of the total copies from

clustered precincts, as of Thursday morning, 12th May. Mostly were from Metro Manila and

some provinces in Luzon and Mindanao and ERs from Visayas have not yet arrived.

Presumptive president Marcos Jr. is set to enter office on 30th of June, as the 17th president of the Philippines. Earlier on Monday, Mr. Marcos Jr. thanked all his supporters for their belief in ‘unity’ and their support towards him and his camp.

Eyes open on human rights

 For 21 years, the Philippines was ruled by his father, the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.,

and from 1972-1981 the Philippines was under declaration of Martial Law.

According to Amnesty International, 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 were

tortured, and 3,240 were died during martial law.

Emerlynne Gil, Asia Pacific Deputy Regional Director of Amnesty International, is

concerned about the Marcos-Duterte tandem since both the potential president and vice president of the Philippines avoid discussing human rights.

“It seemed that they were deliberately refusing to take a position on past and present

violations – including those committed under martial law in the 1970s and early 1980s, and in the context of the Rodrigo Duterte administration’s ‘war on drugs,'” Gil said in a statement.

The Marcoses are set to return 36 years after Marcos Sr. was ousted by the ‘People Power Revolution’ in 1986 or known as the EDSA Revolution.

Spokesperson Vic Rodriguez, said that Mr. Marcos Jr., pledged to be the country’s future

leader, saying, “Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions.”

Mixed Reactions

As the 9th of May election ended, the partial and unofficial results gained different reactions

from the public.

Mr. Marcos’ supporters showed their support on social media by changing their profile

photos on Facebook into red and calling it “Operation Red Tile.”

On their caption it says (translated into English): “Operation Red Tile” all we need to do is to create a blank Post as in blank, no caption with Red Tile Background until Facebook turns red for the whole day. That way they’ll realise that there are loads of people who voted for BBM.”

Most of his supporters are celebrating his victory on Facebook, posting red and green hearts, which represents his campaign colours. His supporters believe that the Philippines was in the “golden era,” when his father was the president of the Philippines.

“One of the reasons I voted for BBM is that he has compassion for Filipinos,

whether they are blood relatives or someone he knows. He will love them as long as they are Filipino.”

While supporters of ’BBM’ (Bongbong Marcos), celebrate his return. Several Filipinos were

disappointed with the results since under Vice President Leni Robredo, the Philippines were

close to achieving good governance.

Mezeah Aubrey A. Rauipiso, 22, described her general reaction after the elections:

“I felt worried for the future of my country and my own. I worry that given the situation we

are in right now, it’s already difficult. What more could happen to the next few years?,” said

Rauipiso.

“I couldn’t help not to overthink. The only thing I am glad for is the spirit of volunteerism –

which seems to continue and I hope it goes on for as long as possible. I feel hopeful and

hopeless at the same time,” she added.

Last month, Vice President Leni Robredo, stated that the Office of the Vice President (OVP)

obtained the highest audit grade from the Commission on Audit (COA) for the third year in a

row, proving that she has a clean track record and no corruption throughout her

Administration.

She has captivated the hearts of the Filipinos, especially the youth, and along with her

running Vice President, Kiko Pangilinan, the long campaign sparked the “Pink Movement,”

which was developed during the campaign of VP Leni Robredo.

The movement consists of different volunteers, from celebrities, students from different

colleges and universities, down to every individual that commits to serve and volunteer in the

Philippines. This is also called “Bayanihan” in Filipino term.

On Friday, 13th of May, a thanksgiving party was held at Ateneo de Manila University along

with Leni Robredo’s camp and supporters “Kakampinks”. Despite not gaining the most votes,

she announced that her camp would launch its program “Angat Buhay” on July 1st as a

non-government organisation.

Auditing by PPCRV volunteers is still ongoing, with a projected completion date of May 20th, 2022.

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