By Ryan Ponce Pacpaco | Journal News Online
EIGHT political parties on Wednesday called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ensure the conduct of honest, orderly and peaceful elections on Monday.
The eight, led by Lakas Christian-Muslim-Democrats (CMD) and Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), made the appeal in a joint manifesto, which was also supported by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), Nacionalista Party (NP), Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), National Unity Party (NUP), PDP-Laban, and Reform Party.
“On May 9, our people will again troop to the polls to exercise their right to choose the nation’s leaders. The right to suffrage is inviolable, and the people’s will must be respected,” the political parties said.
“As leaders of our respective political parties, we now join hands and stand with the Filipino people in sounding the clarion call for an honest, transparent and orderly elections. Toward this end, we make the following appeal to the Commission on Elections,” they said.
Their manifesto then enumerated several suggestions, which include ensuring that all vote counting machines (VCMs) should be in place and operational in all polling precincts on Monday, and that spare VCMs should also be available in case some malfunction or are found to be defective.
The eight political groups also suggested that there should be no delay in the transmission of votes from the precinct to the canvassing and tabulations centers, and that there should be transparency in such transmission.
They urged the Comelec to “set in place all the safeguards necessary to avoid possible glitches in counting, transmission and canvassing of votes.”
“With days to go before May 9, we trust that all systems are in now in place to hold a fair and free elections. We trust in the integrity of our Comelec commissioners, and we believe in the honesty and competence of all men and women supervising the elections,” the groups said.
“We join our people in praying that the results of the 2022 elections usher in a new era of peace and development for our country and for our people,” they said.
PFP is the political party to which presidential frontrunner former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. belongs.
His running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who leads in the vice presidential race, is running under Lakas-CMD.
Based on Pulse Asia’s newest tracking survey conducted last April 16 to 21, Marcos Jr. had a voter preference of 56 percent, while Mayor Duterte was preferred by 55 percent of likely voters.
House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez, Lakas-CMD president, said if the BBM-Sara tandem scores a landslide victory, they would be the first presidential and vice presidential candidates in the country’s recent history who would win by a majority, instead of a plurality, vote.