How to prevent rigging of 2022 poll results? Diokno knows a way

Published November 2, 2021, 9:34 AM

by Raymund Antonio

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno said the opposition must get “overwhelming” votes from the electorate to thwart any attempt to rig the results of the national elections next year.

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“The more overwhelming the vote is, the harder it will be to cheat,” Diokno, who is again seeking a Senate seat after his failed bid in 2019, said during a recent online town hall meeting with Negros-based multi-sectoral leaders.

He made the statement amid concerns about the upcoming vacancies in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) just before the May 2022 elections.

President Duterte is expected to appoint a new chairman and two commissioners to the poll body by February next year.

There is also one vacant seat in the seven-member commission, which Duterte can fill up as soon as possible.

READ: Namfrel says successors of retiring poll officials must be independent

Diokno said every vote will count and make a difference for a particular candidate in the current scenario where many bets are vying for the presidency.

“I don’t think they will be able to tinker with the outcome of an election,” Diokno stressed, but raised the possibility that some forms of cheating may be done in a close fight among candidates.

Based on his discussion with some information technology (IT) experts, Diokno noted it would be difficult to manipulate the automated elections, but a possibility remains that it could be done in some areas.

Diokno is running under the Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino, but is officially under the ticket of presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo.

Former Comelec Commissioner Christian Monsod is pushing for a “public vetting” of the new Comelec commissioners because they will form the majority of the poll body’s members.

READ: Monsod pushes for public vetting on appointment of poll officials

Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas will retire in Feb. 2022 along with Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Antonio Kho, Jr. The President will need to appoint another commissioner because Michael Peloton failed to secure the nod of the Commission on Appointments (CA).