Clean, honest polls also voters' responsibility, Comelec says

Kim Arveen Patria
Kim Arveen Patria
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

While assuring Filipinos of speedy results, the poll body reminded voters of their responsibility in ensuring clean and honest elections.

Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez urged young Pinoy voters to exercise their right to suffrage in the midterm polls.

"Don't forget to vote," Jimenez said in Yahoo! Philippines' Purple Thumb Election Forum in the University of the Philippines Diliman Mar. 21.

"The bad officials in government are put there by people who refuse to vote," he added, noting that Pinoys should support for candidates they deem deserving.

Related: Make use of social media for clean polls, Comelec tells youth

Ensuring the success of the elections, Jimenez said, is a duty shared by the poll body, the voters and the politicians.

"This is partly your responsibility since voters are the ones who sell their votes," Jimenez said in the event which guested independent Senate aspirants.

Politicians meanwhile have a responsibility on their own to take a stand against cheating, the Comelec official added.

The poll body, for its part, he said, is tasked to ensure that there will be no opportunity for cheating during the country's second automated polls.

"Fast reporting of election results reduces the possibility of dagdag-bawas," Jimenez said, referring to electoral fraud in the local polls.

Also read: UP students grill anti-RH Senate bet David

The poll official also touted the impact of the Internet and social media in facilitating the elections.

"Netizens are feeling empowered and are therefore braver to come out with complaints," Jimenez said.

He added that technology has improved interactivity between Comelec and the public, so that monitoring of violations is no longer the poll body's sole responsibility.

But while Comelec appreciates support from netizens, Jimenez said young voters should increasingly focus on helping the candidates they want to vote for.

"If you decide to support a candidate, do so with all your might," Jimenez said.

This could be done by explaining to their peers why they are voting for a candidate or not, especially through social media, he said.

Related: 'More pressing things than Kris-James issue', Gordon says

Answering a question from a participant, Jimenez also reminded Pinoys that corruption cannot exist in a society that is not corrupt.

"The reason that people lose integrity is that they are being asked to do something they do not normally do," the Comelec official said.

He added that Pinoys should thus ask themselves: "Do we corrupt people in government? Are we the ones who bring in corruption?"

Related slideshow: How you should vote