By Analou De Vera
Women’s group Gabriela on Tuesday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate various problems that were encountered during the midterm polls.
“The COMELEC should not immediately dismiss these reports as few and isolated,” said Gert Ranjo-Libang, Vice Chairperson of Gabriela.
Members of Gabriela and other cause-oriented groups marched towards the Comelec head office in Intramuros, Manila on Tuesday afternoon to raise concerns over election-related problems.
During the elections, several vote counting machines (VCMs) in different polling precincts encountered glitches.
“Some voters complained that they were made to leave their filled up ballots for election officers to feed the VCM once they are functional, thus depriving the voters the chance to check if their votes were actually cast,” said Ranjo-Libang.
The group also questioned the inclusion of some candidates in the senate positions, who were known supportive to the administration.
“Itong mga lumalabas na resulta marapat lamang na kwestyunin ng taong bayan. Marapat lamang yan busisiin. May kredibilidad ba talaga ang Comelec ngayon na sabihin na itong mga ito ang nanalo. Samantalang ang lumalabas ay pawang mga administrasyon ito,” said Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas.
Senatorial candidates backed by President Duterte have a possibility to land a Senate seat based on the partial and unofficial election results.
The administration bets included in the partial count are: reelectionist senators Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel; Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, former senator Pia Cayetano, former presidential aide Christopher “Bong” Go, former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino.
Ranjo-Libang urged the public to remain vigilant to ensure that their “true votes are counted.”
“Aside from reporting possible fraud and violence, we should also keep our eyes open for more maneuvers to thwart deserving candidates in various positions. Our vote is our voice, let us make sure that we are heard,” she said.