A Call to Guard Our Votes

May 23, 2007 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Akbayan | 1 Comment

Contrary to what is commonly believed, the elections just began on May 14.  The fight is not over.  The results are still being manipulated.  So we must proceed from the assumption that the elections should be a reflection of the true will of the governed, and that the protection of one vote is in itself a sanctified and precious exercise which we must all uphold.

But the reality is that in a backward electoral system where your tabulation and canvassing is done manually, where the entire process relies on human intervention at almost all levels, and where an institution mandated to protect the electoral process is itself weak and prone to influence, the system becomes weak and susceptible to abuse and deception.

AKBAYAN’s track record has been one of consistency and transparency.  We are not a front group for anyone except the interests of our constituency.  We do not play into the dirty hands of those who seek to subvert and pervert the sanctity of the ballot.  We have stood for good governance and accountability, and it seems that in the context of the times, there is a price to pay for standing for and seeking out the truth.

We were at the forefront of exposing and seeking out the disqualification of party-list groups with questionable backgrounds and backing.  Our fears have indeed come true with the results coming in for the party-list elections.  Reports have been coming in that AKBAYAN’s votes have been shaved, and elsewhere, other acts that seek to confuse and deliberately contort election results.

In Marikina, AKBAYAN’s votes were allegedly not properly counted.  What was written in the SOV (one hundred fifteen) is different from the actual tabulation of votes (3216), resulting in a loss of about 3,000 votes.  The local COMELEC refuses to divulge the statement of votes.  In Caloocan, our votes were 32 in one precinct but was tabulated as 4. There was an incident uncovered in Caloocan where an attempt was made to allegedly pad the votes of Kasangga, another administration front, resulting in a delay in the canvassing.

In Lanao del Sur Akbayan’s 840 votes in Picong was allegedly erased and changed to 0 in the SOV at around 7 PM during the canvassing on May 19, while groups like Bigkis Pinoy and ALIF supposedly got additional votes. In Marawi, where Akbayan also expected a good performance, the total number of PL voters exceeded the total number of registered voters, with NELFFI getting the “highest vote”.  In Cotabato City, there were reports of massive padding in SOVs

In other istances, there were fraudulent acts that did not interfere with the canvassing but went against the spirit of fair play and decency.  In Taytay, the first page of the list of certified party-list groups in all precincts in Felix Elementary School,which contained AKBAYAN along with others, was missing.  In Cotabato City, AKBAYAN canvassers had to leave the canvassing area due to alleged harassment and intimidation from members of Assalam party-list, while in Batangas, AGAP supposedly gave away P20,000 to barangay captains.

We appeal to the auhtorities to do their duties – the COMELEC first and foremost, to ensure that the results of the elcetions are credible and do not end up serving the interests of a few.  There is a deceptive tranquility to the days following the elections but we all know what the truth is.  The results coming in from the ground are vulnerable. We must guard and protect our votes.  Because in the end it is not the candidate, like AKBAYAN,  that loses, but the people who went out of their way hoping that their one voice could make a difference.  We must not tolerate this travesty, and collectively reclaim our dangal as a society.

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1 Comment »

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  1. tama hindi nga prente ng kung anong grupo ang Akbayan. Hindi kayo natatakot kahit banggain niyo pa ang NPA o ang gobyerno o ang mga local warlords. Hindi kayo umuurong kahit pagtulungan na kayo ng so-called “Kaliwa” at ng Kanan. Mensahe ko lang sa inyo, if I may borrow and change what soon-to-be British Prime Minister said, “We are strongest when we are boldest, We are strongest when we are united, we are strongest when we are Labour”. Malakas kayo kung kayo’y mapangahas, Malakas kayo kung kayo’y nagkakaisa, Malakas kayo kung kayo’y Akbayan!


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