Manila Bulletin : Pol groups behind UniTeam alliance ask 5 things from Comelec before May 9

By Ellson Quismorio | Manila Bulletin

The political parties that coalesced under the UniTeam alliance of presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte have come up with five specific appeals to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) less than a week before the May 9 polls.

“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,” read the joint statement from the parties Wednesday, May 4.

Behind the joimt statement was the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Nacionalista Party (NP), National Unity Party (NUP), 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,” it further read.

“Toward this end, we make the following appeal to the [Comelec]: ensure that all Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) are in place and operational in all polling precincts during election day; ensure that there are available contingency VCMs to immediately replace the machines that are found to be defective or problematic; [ensure] no delay or failure in transmission of votes from the precinct to the canvassing; [ensure] transparency in transmission of votes from precinct to the canvassing; [and] set in place all the safeguards necessary to avoid possible glitches in counting, transmission and canvassing of votes,” it said.

The political parties added: “With days to go before May 9, we trust that all systems are in now in place to hold a fair and free elections.”

They said that they “trust in the integrity of our Comelec commissioners, and we believe in the honesty and competence of all men and women supervising the elections”.

“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,” the parties concluded.