Failing the People
Quezon City – Social movements against Charter Change are deeply alarmed that winners are declared for senator and partylist despite many irregularities documented in the 2019 midterm elections, including in vote counting and canvassing.
COMELEC has been amiss in explaining these irregularities in full detail and with transparency, and has not directly challenged overt vote-buying nor the President’s public statement that coax the Filipino masses to accept vote-buying as the norm during elections.
As a result, we believe that the way this election was conducted has tarnished the integrity and credibility of this democratic process. The election is a pivotal exercise that determines the direction and mode of political and economic development in our country. This newly-elected set of national legislators and local officials will be critical in advancing the shift to a federal form of government by the Duterte administration through Charter Change (ChaCha).
Given the pronouncements during the campaign period of the declared winners, the overwhelming majority of them favor the shift to a federal constitution, clearly prioritizing the interests of foreign investors and the elite over the oppressed majority. They sing the same tune as former President Gloria Arroyo, who only yesterday was asking the Senate to fast-track ChaCha. Given the track record of Hugpong ng Pagbabago senators, including the co-ownership of mining companies by Senator Cynthia Villar’s family, the brokering by Angara family of economic zone accused of land-grabbing by farmers and indigenous peoples, they will not hesitate to remove the 40% limit to foreign ownership of corporations undertaking exploration of our natural resources.
Most likely, this incoming Congress will also support the Duterte administration’s kill policies – the death penalty, lowering of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility, extension and expansion of Martial Law and the continuation of the war on drugs. KALIPUNAN resolves to fight and reject these anti-poor and anti-people policies.
As this electoral process is crucial, and hands the future of the most marginalized among us in the hands of winning politicians leaning towards Charter Change and kill policies, the electoral process must first be beyond reproach.
The COMELEC must investigate and explain the irregularities that happened surrounding the elections, including evidences of pre-shading of ballots, intimidation of local governments, uncounted votes of partylists in numerous precincts, the lack of transparency, the failure of Voting Registration Machines (VRMs), the conking out of Vote Counting Machines (VCMs), the lack of ballot marking pens that are used to blot the ballot, rendering these as spoiled votes. Other issues are still being elevated to the court such as the choice of a Duterte-allied party to be the dominant minority party for monitoring.
We support the call of the Parish Pastoral Council on Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), for the COMELEC to open all recording devices related to the Transparency Server to all stakeholders. We also share the belief that involving as many stakeholders as possible to observe the transparency server can only enhance the integrity of this election. COMELEC must act immediately, and must not allow itself to be abused by fascist tendencies of an administration that plans to install a constitutional dictatorship.
Green Convergence Movement
In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement
Kalipunan ng mga Kilusang Masa