Comelec on alleged no access to voting places: How come we had highest voting turnout ever?

Published May 23, 2022, 6:27 PM

by Jel Santos

How come we have the highest election turnout ever?

Comelec Acting Spokesperson John Rex C. Laudiangco (JEL SANTOS/MANILA BULLETIN)

This was the question posed by Commission on Elections (Comelec) Acting Spokesperson John Rex C. Laudiangco to those alleging that the May 2022 election was marred by a high level of violence and voters having no access to voting places.

“We have the highest turnout ever of any automated or manual elections, we are at 83.11 percent or more than 55 million of our countrymen voted. So kung talaga pong mayroon talagang (if there was really) high level of violence at (and) no access to voting places, how come we have the highest turnout ever of elections?” he said during a media briefing, Monday, May 23, addressing the report of the International Observer Mission (IOM) whose local partner is Kontra Daya.

“Mayroon pong (There are) more than 300 local and international accredited election observers ang Comelec…Unfortunately, what we had observed is that IOC and Kontra Daya did not avail of the accreditation process, we don’t know why,” he said, adding that “they could have joined us iba sana ang perspective (their perspective could have been different).”

The IOM is sponsored by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP).

IOM stated: “The May 9 election did not meet the standard of ‘free and fair’ because voters were denied access to reliable information, access to the voting places without intimidation, and a credible vote-counting system.”

Citing the Philippine National Police’s (PNP’s) comparative analysis of election-validated and vetted election-related incidents, Laudiangco stressed the recently concluded polls had the lowest number of election-related violence, having only a total of 27.

“And these 27 incidents stretched from January 9 up to the present. That is why the PNP and the AFP are so proud in stating that this is the most peaceful election ever,” he said, adding that their statements are based on facts and not on speculations.