By Mario Casayuran
Despite glitches that marred the electronic voting in the May 13 mid-term elections, there was no cheating, pro-administration Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao, campaign manager of Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban), said yesterday.
‘’The election was credible. As usual, there are winners and losers in any election. That’s the people’s wish; I have heard charges of election fraud aired the past decades. Walang dayaan (no cheating in the recently-concluded elections), Pacquiao said in a press conference held at a Malate (Manila) hotel.
He also brushed off queries on a possible Pacquiao-Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio presidential tandem in the 2022 presidential race.
‘’It is not in my book. It is not in my mind,’’ he added.
To the opposition ‘’Otso Derecho’’ whose eight senatorial bets appeared headed for a resounding defeat, Pacquiao said the group should accept the people’s decision which was an almost wholesale victory for pro-President Duterte senatorial bets.
Four of PDP-Laban’s senatorial bets have barged into the ‘’Magic 12.’’
They are former Police Chief Roland dela Rosa, Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go, Francis Tolentino and reelectionist Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, president of PDP Laban party.
Pacquiao said he himself could not explain the glitches that hit the electronic voting process but Pimentel himself wanted a congressional probe into this issue.
On a statement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) seeking a suspension by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of next week’s scheduled proclamation of the winning candidates, Pacquiao said this would not affect the votes cast.
‘’We have seen the trend,’’ he explained.
Pacquiao said the four winning PDP senatorial bets would support programs of President Duterte as long as they benefit the people.
Majority of the members of the Senate belong to the majority bloc headed by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III.
Pacquiao said he and the four – Go, dela Rosa, Pimentel, and Tolentino – have not yet discussed on whether or not they would formally join the majority bloc.
He also revealed that 12 out of the 18 mayoral bets in highly-urbanized cities that won belong to the PDP-Laban party.
Out of the 59 gubernatorial bets, 40 PDP candidates won while a maximum of 85 PDP bets won in the congressional race.
There are some 400,000 card-bearing members of PDP-Laban.