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‘Bayan’ to protest alleged fraud in 2019 midterm polls

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Courtesy : BAYAN’s Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – The group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is brewing a mass protest on Friday (May 17) to question the results of the 2019 midterm elections.

Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes criticized the remarks of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday (May 14) saying it is through “Duterte’s magic” that most of the admin-endorsed senatorial candidates entered the Top 12 list of the partial, unofficial results of the midterm polls.

Due to this, Reyes said, the election results cannot be trusted.

Reyes has accused Duterte of using government resources for election results to favor administration bets. Also, he alleged that the Armed Forces and the National Police have been utilized to target and harass opposition groups.

Apart from that, Duterte allegedly placed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) under his control to do some “magic” in the automated polls.

Reyes also accused the President of extending the martial law in Mindanao and backing government-sponsored disinformation to manipulate the elections.

Reyes, meanwhile, gets the support of former congressman and losing senatorial candidate, Neri Colmenares.

In a Twitter post, Colmenares refused to accept the election results saying: “I will never concede defeat to a rotten electoral exercise that has basically deceived, bribed, intimidated and manipulated our people into electing the worst kinds of leaders imaginable.”

Meanwhile, Malacañang said such reactions are expected from left-leaning party-list groups.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, “Their loss is a clear indication that our people do not believe in their advocacies.”

He added that Reyes’ allegations “have not been backed by any semblance of evidence and can easily be fact-checked.”

“We hope that Mr. Reyes would be humble enough to accept the electoral defeat even as we are magnanimous in our triumph,” Panelo said,

“We reiterate our call to the opposition. Let us set aside our partisanship and work together for the betterment of the Filipino people. The sovereign voice has spoken,” the Presidential Spokesperson concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte bets’ lead in senatorial race, proof of public support to administration – Malacañang

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in one of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) sorties on March 3, 2019. (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

Malacañang is elated with the turn out of results for the administration senatorial bets in the 2019 Midterm Elections.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the election result is proof of the public’s positive response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal for support for the people whom he trusts to advocate the laws that the administration is pushing.

“The victory of the administration’s candidates and the shut out of the Otso Diretso candidates send a strong message that our people yearn for stability and continuity of the genuine reforms that the Administration started. They yearn for a constructive – not obstructionist – Senate which will help in crafting the President’s legislative agenda,” Panelo added.

Malacañang, nevertheless, has made the assurance that the Senate will remain independent although it would seem to consist mostly of President Duterte’s allies.

“No Senate has never been under any president. They always rise above parties and considerations where issues involve national interest, national security, and the interest of the Filipino people,” Panelo said.

The Palace official thanked the Otso Diretso candidates for the fair fight in the elections.

He, however, said that the administration hopes that the opposition will respect the decision of the people.

He added that while Malacañang expects the President’s critics to continue with their role as opposition, it also appeals to them to act in accordance with what the constitution provides. (with reports from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

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Vote counting machine glitches won’t affect election results – Malacañang

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Malacañang is confident that the glitches that happened in the vote counting machines will not affect the result of the 2019 midterm elections.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the number of machines that encountered problems is relatively small compared with the total number of VCMs used nationwide.

Panelo also pointed out the measures that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had taken to solve the matter.

Malacañang, however, reiterated that the poll body must review its contract with Smartmatic concerning the VCMs used in the election.

The Palace also supports the petition for Congress to conduct an investigation on the vote counting machine glitches.

“They should, kasi that should teach them a lesson. There must be something wrong although I was listening to some experts saying that alam mo yung makina kung three years mong di ginamit, most likely magkakaroon ng deperansya yan. Pwede nga [You know, if you don’t use the machine for three years, most likely there would be problems. It can happen],” Panelo added. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

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PPCRV begins manual encoding of printed poll results

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on Tuesday started its manual encoding of the printed election results after the May 13 midterm polls.

The PPCRV announced this at its command center in Manila.

“This officially opens our work here, the second phase of our worker here at the Pope Pius command center,” PPCRV chairperson Myla Villanueva said.

Around 100 volunteers, divided into three daily shifts, will man the command center and manually encode the printed copies of poll results gathered from clustered precincts across the country.

The poll watchdog earlier said it has deployed 300,000 volunteers to monitor the midterm polls when it opened its command center on May 8.

READ: PPCRV opens command center for 2019 midterm polls

The PPCRV said the manual encoding of the fourth copy of election returns will be compared against the digitally transmitted election returns to check if the data matches and validate the count.  

“These volunteers are encoding physical fourth copy of election returns. This will be used to match it versus the [electronic] election results that we’re seeing on the screens,” said PPCRV media director Agnes Gervacio.

“Yung actual election returns, pini-pick up po ‘yun ng mga coordinators natin, bina-batch po at dinadala sa Pope Pius (command center),” she added.

Gervacio said they are now receiving election returns from cities in Metro Manila such as Makati, Manila, Pasay and San Juan. These are just five percent of the actual poll returns nationwide.

The PPCRV said the election returns from areas outside Metro Manila are expected to come in late Tuesday afternoon. (with details from Mai Bermudez)

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