The government’s election watchdog, the Commission on Elections, has declared it will proclaim later this week the 12 winners in the May 13 midterm polls despite a protest by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines who wants malfunctions in vote counting machines looked into first.
The CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action has said there is a need for impartial investigation to ensure there is no fraud or manipulation of election results in the different levels.
But the Comelec, which sits as the National Board of Canvassers, has said it will push through with the proclamation because it must follow its rules and proceed with the canvass as stated in the canvassing laws.
The administration, meanwhile, has been repeatedly jabbed with allegations of vote buying and technical snags encountered with the vote counting machines.
Many in the opposition have also slammed the much vaunted “Duterte magic” for the victory of the President’s allies, scathingly suggesting that the chief executive controlled Comelec and countenanced the trickery in the automated polls.
One outspoken candidate has refused to concede the Senate race, saying he 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.”
Malacañang itself has urged the opposition, the critics and the knockers as well as the nit-pickers to bow to the choice of the majority and “yield to the resounding voice of the electorate.”
A total 62 candidates ran for 12 Senate seats to complete the 24-member upper chamber, with the following elective seats available: 59 party-list representatives, 243 district representatives, 81 governors, 81 vice governors, 780 provincial board members, 145 city mayors, 145 city vice mayors, 1,628 city councilors, 1,489 municipal mayors, 1,489 municipal vice mayors, 11,916 municipal councilors and one Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor, one ARMM regional vice governor and 24 ARMM regional assemblymen.
Having read both bulletin boards, and having seen and heard the oft sardonic exchange, we doff our hat to those—they are uncountable—who had the courage to concede defeat early enough to demonstrate their honorableness.