Manila Standard : A clean, clear mandate for BBM

By Erwin Tulfo | Manila Standard

“Kudos to the Comelec and to the PPCRV for a job well done.”
Among the May 2022 elections frontliners that we must express our gratitude to are the 500,000 plus volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

Until this writing, hundreds of volunteers at the PPCRV operations center at the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) in Manila have their hands full in validating the election results that arrived from all over the country.

The Church-based duly-accredited election watchdog in a statement has so far found no discrepancy between the physical election returns and those from the transparency server of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Despite minor glitches in Monday’s voting, the PPCRV assured the public that the election results had been 100 percent accurate as of Thursday.

As widely anticipated, former-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (BBM) emerged as the presumptive winner to become the 17th President of the Philippines. He held back celebration, however, awaiting Comelec proclamation.'

There are a handful of frustrated supporters of political rival camps to whom BBM and presumptive Vice President Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio are reaching out to in reconciliation.

We can understand the pain in loss but the majority of the people have spoken their overwhelming vote for the BBM-Sara Duterte tandem.

BBM thanked all Filipinos who participated in the democratic process and bestowed him a clear mandate, even as he enjoined the defeated aspirants to unity in nation-building.

He also thanked the volunteers or “frontliners” for their time and effort that helped make Monday’s elections a huge success.

The Catholic Church, which has always watched the conduct of elections with militant eyes, did not see any sign of wrongdoing or fraud in this year’s counting of votes as audited by the PPCRV volunteers headed by Myla Villanueva.

We salute the volunteers, along with the public school teachers who served as Election Board members, for helping ensure the votes of some 60 million Filipinos count.

Kudos to the Comelec for a job well-done.

We also commend the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for standing by and making sure we exercise our right to suffrage without disruption.

This year’s voter turnout may have exceeded the 81 percent observed in the 2016 elections that catapulted President Duterte to power.

In a historic feat, BBM garnered over 31 million votes or over 51 percent of the total votes cast while his closest rival got about 14 million votes.

Still, we must agree with Lingayen Archbishop Soc Villegas that the Filipino nation needs “healing” from the pain and bitterness of divisive politics which is more dreadful than the COVID-19 pandemic.