Election watchdog Kontra Daya says there was election fraud in 2022 polls

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Filipino activists raise their clenched fists during a Black Friday Protest amid the partial and unofficial results from the national election, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, May 13, 2022. Election watchdog Kontra Daya says
Filipino activists raise their clenched fists during a Black Friday Protest amid the partial and unofficial results from the national election, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, May 13, 2022. Election watchdog Kontra Daya says "there was election fraud". REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

Election watchdog Kontra Daya (Against Fraud) said that there was fraud in the 2022 elections.

“From our end, we can say, if we are asked: Was there election fraud? Yes, there was election fraud,” Kontra Daya spokesperson Malou Jarabe said.

The group also mentioned that there was a disinformation campaign heavily favoring the dictator’s son and now presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., something that has long been highlighted by independent fact-checkers and civil society groups that continue to hold the Marcoses accountable for their documented crimes against the Filipino electorate.

According to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), about 1,800 vote counting machines (VCMs) malfunctioned as the elections happened – a figure Kontra Daya pointed out to be over double the number of VCM errors during the last presidential elections in 2016.

Those are official COMELEC numbers. Kontra Daya gave a figure of its own, with a combined figure of 9,000 for cases of VCM errors, illegal campaigning, vote-buying, and red-tagging throughout the conduct of the elections. 32% of these figures were verified reports.

Jarabe said that the elections “were plagued with incidents of fraud and disinformation.” She also emphasized the difficulty in vetting the process of machine vote counting.

“Right from the start, Kontra Daya remained critical of the conduct of the automated elections in the country for its lack of transparency and accountability,” she said.

In a now taken down Philstar.com column by Jairus Bondoc, it was mentioned that COMELEC missed the February 9 deadline for independent certifications, raising questions over the integrity of VCMs and servers’ programming.

Jarabe added, “An election system that maximizes local talent and allows greater public scrutiny will allow others to be confident that their votes are correctly cast and counted.”

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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