By Macon Ramos Araneta | Manila Standard Today
Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. warned on Friday that the rampant brownouts in various areas in the Mindanao region might enable unscrupulous politicians to manipulate the elections to frustrate the will of the voters.
“Of course we are closely monitoring the developments in the electoral process, particularly on the possibility such a scenario could occur,” said Marcos while campaigning in Kidapawan City. “I think the best thing every one of us can do is to be vigilant to protect the integrity of the elections.”
He made the call during his Unity Caravan in Mindanao, particularly in South and North Cotabato, where he was told of rampant brownouts in various areas.
He had earlier expressed alarm over the series of bombings of transmission towers in Mindanao as it had led to brownouts in many areas.
Since last year, 18 transmission towers have been bombed by still unidentified individuals. Just last month, two transmission towers in Ilocos Norte were also attacked.
The senator had called for a more resolute action from the government, including law enforcement agencies, to stop the bombings and arrest those behind the attacks.
Marcos said in going around the country, he is not only campaigning but also organizing his supporters to closely monitor the electoral process and thwart any attempts at cheating.
Marcos also said the recent Supreme Court ruling, which ordered the Comelec to activate the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail features in the vote counting machines, will help ensure clean and honest elections.
Earlier, he urged the Comelec to immediately attend to the task of complying with the SC ruling even if it is contrary to the position taken by the poll body, given the limited time available before the elections. The Comelec is reportedly mulling to appeal the SC ruling.
“We must all insist that the Comelec should implement all the safeguards to the automated election as mandated by the law so that when all the votes are tallied, our citizens are confident that the results accurately reflect the will of the people,” Marcos said.