ELECTIONS 2022: Protests launched against poll fraud, disenfranchisement

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Groups stage a protest at Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila on May 10, 2022, a day after the presidential elections, to call for accountability from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and to oppose an impending Marcos-Duterte administration. (Photo by Pola Rubio)
Groups stage a protest at Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila on May 10, 2022, a day after the presidential elections, to call for accountability from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and to oppose an impending Marcos-Duterte administration. (Photo by Pola Rubio)

Rights groups and election watchdogs march the streets a day after the elections to protest ‘widespread election fraud and massive voters’ disenfranchisement’, as the dictator’s son leads the presidential race in the Comelec’s partial and unofficial results.

The groups, in consecutive protests on Tuesday (May 10), cite blaring irregularities of the poll body, with many voters still in line hours after the 7 pm closing of polls. Nearly 2,000 VCMs were also reportedly malfunctioning during the elections.

As of 8:02 pm, May 10, 2022, Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, obtained 31,038,027, based on 98.11% of partial, unofficial election results.

His main opposition, Vice President Leni Robredo, is currently running second, obtaining 14,791,754, as of writing.

Hindi biro ang inindang pagtitiis sa pagpila. Maiintindihan natin kung dahil sa health protocols dulot ng pandemya, pero hindi. Dahil ito sa kapabayaan ng Comelec at walang hiyang Smartmatic na iyan,” Danilo Arao, convenor of election watchdog KontraDaya, said.

(People waited in long lines just to vote. We would understand if it was caused by health protocols during the pandemic, but it wasn’t. It was caused by Comelec’s neglect and by the shameless Smartmatic.)

The groups also condemned the possible Marcos-Duterte rule in the next 6 years.

Mahal namin ang Pilipinas kaya ayaw naming iluklok ang isang berdugo, mamatay tao, magnanakaw na mapanghating Marcos. (We love the Philippines, and that is why we refuse to elect the divisive Marcos who is an executioner, a murderer, and a thief.)” Jerome Adonis, Kilusang Mayo Uno secretary general said.

Hundreds of police flocked in front of the Comelec Main office to deter the protesters. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) was also in the area for possible dispersal.

Meanwhile, a delegation from various sectors in Southern Tagalog also attempted to stage a protest at the poll office at around 3 pm, marching from Liwasang Bonifacio to the Comelec building in Intramuros. They were blocked, however, at Arzobispo Street–just a few streets away from the Palacio del Gobernador.

Police heckling

Some Philippine National Police (PNP) officers, who were supposed to be non-partisan, sang Marcos Jr.’s campaign jingle while the protesters mount a cultural performance. They were also seen singing the jingle in the blockade in front of the Palacio del Gobernador.

The PNP has earlier noted that the institution is still non-partisan and ‘will never endorse any political party or candidate vying for any elective position.’

Protests all over the country

Various groups from all over the Philippines also staged protests to call for accountability from the poll body.

In a protest in Baguio, One Baguio Benguet - Robredo People’s Council announced that they are preparing for legal steps and urged people who experienced disenfranchisement to come forward.

In Mabinay, Negros Oriental, thousands of farmers marched to call out Comelec for alleged “cheating” in the elections.

Meanwhile, youth groups and progressive organizations also launched a protest in Davao City–bailiwick of vice-presidential frontrunner Sara Duterte.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom.

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