Opinion: Marcos Jr. postpones the Barangay and SK elections just like Duterte

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 4) — President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Monday a law postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections for the second time. “The President has signed into law the resetting of the barangay and SK elections,” House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Farinas said on Wednesday. Republic Act No. 10952 set the local elections to May 2018, with incumbent local officials ordered to remain in office” (VJ Bacungan – ‘Duterte signs law moving barangay, SK polls to May 2018’, 04.10.2017).

Today it’s official that the scheduled Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections for December 2022 are postponed to the 31st October 2023. Just like during the predecessor time in office, the Barangay captains and other elected representatives in the previous election are getting more time in office. The postponement means they are longer in office and prolonging their terms before new campaigning.

We know that Duterte did it with the reason of the drug-war and “narco-list” of dozens of barangay officials. Who wasn’t supposed to be eligible to stand or be candidates in the up-coming elections. Duterte postponed the Barangay and the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections twice. He moved it from 31st October 2016 to 23rd October 2017 and finally moving it to May 2018.

Today it’s official that President Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr. are following where Duterte left off. What is striking there is no official reason or argument for the postponement. Yes, on the 10th October 2022 Marcos Jr. signed the Republican Act. 11935 and Commission on Elections (COMELEC) just have to follow this order. Though there is no valid reason for it or probable cause for doing so.

Why are Marcos Jr. postponing it? Is he to busy travelling leisure trips or not finding sources for cheap sugar? What is the reason for it? That’s what’s bugging me.

At least Duterte could acknowledge certain reasons for doing so. He could muster up arguments that could make sense. Though you could disagree and wonder if it was true. Duterte still mustered up something and cooked up an edible dish.

What are we served up today?

I don’t know if it is soup, adobo or if he we have to run to Jolibee. Because, there is no meat to the bone. Only a new date in one year time and scheduled in October in 2023. There is no justification or saying that are uttered. We are about one month away from the supposed polls of December 2022 elections.

We can just await more information to come, but this isn’t a good look. Marcos Jr. isn’t doing anything new. Duterte did it already before him. His just following where he left off on this particular manner. However, one vast difference.

Duterte had a reason for the postponements. From Marcos Jr. it is radio-silence and no blinking lights leading us in any direction. Time will tell…. Peace.

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Opinion: PPCRV cannot save COMELEC [on the 68:32 Magic]

The poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) cannot vindicate the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). The results are easily questionable by the action happening on the day of the polls. Especially, when there is so much news of faulty machines, SD-Cards not working and ballots not processed while the voter are in the proximity of the vote. Therefore, the rate of the announcing partial results and such begs you too question it all too.

Then you have the margins and the statistical anomaly, which was repetitive in the manner of announcement of the results of the polls. That was not showing difference of regions, areas or even amount of voters. Still, the percentage was stagnate and at the same levels without any shift. This is why you beg to question it and wonder what the heck is going on. Because, that doesn’t make sense, that the various of polling stations, regions and alike voted in comparison and within the same percentage as a total with every update. That just sounds strange too me.

The PPCRV can say it’s “Big Data” and “Big Numbers” but even they got to understand why people are wondering. The 68:32 Magic will follow this election cycle. Just like all the scrutiny for every voter who was not allowed to enter and vote. All the voters who didn’t get receipts and could verify if their vote was really cast. Because, of technical difficulties.

The PPCRV who is canvassing and checking the results of the polls is most likely right about their assessment, but the facts remains that the COMELEC didn’t fulfil their mission and that’s why people are questioning the results. If everything had gone well, if there wasn’t discrepancies and electioneering on the polling day. Then we wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t wonder if everything was on the up-and-up.

For me this isn’t about the candidacy of Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Junior or such. No, this is systemic issues and the manner of which things went down. If the COMELEC had everything sorted out and there was no outcry of technical difficulties. If there was no one who was turned away and didn’t close the polling stations early. While there was also so swift ability to get the results announced after the hardships of actually casting the ballots. Therefore, the reasons for wondering isn’t about Marcos, but about the ones who was running the show.

The problem is the perception and what went down. The PPCRV can say it and it can be true. However, at the same time… they are vindicating COMELEC for their lacking and unprofessional manner of which they were not technically prepared for the polls. While they hired companies, appointees secured the venues and the ballots too. They had the time to prepare for this and ensure it all would end well. Nevertheless, it wasn’t all free and fair… and it wasn’t without it’s faults.

That’s why people are speculating and wondering about the announced results. This is why I questioned it too, because it didn’t make sense and how the partial results was announced without any shift or significant change of percentages between the two main candidates for President. That is what’s the issue and this cannot be taken away with a statement.

COMELEC should release the servers and the numbers for scholars to crunch and show what went down. The results forms should be digitally available and make it possible for a mathematician to break the numbers down. Alas, PPCRV cannot save the COMELEC here. They are indirectly trying to salvage it, but it doesn’t patch the hurt.

The only thing it does… that people like me want more transparency and don’t want to be fooled. Who won? Well, most like BBM, but we need it to be proven, as the margins of error is there and they shouldn’t have been here in the first place. Peace.

Philippines: Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) – Press Statement (12.05.2022)

Opinion: COMELEC needs to explain the 68:32 Magic

The thing as an outsider and with the knowledge of the irregularities, the questionable speed of the announcement of the election results. The numbers was trickling in at amp-speed. Nearly quicker than the average speed of the internet networks of the Philippines. While polling stations had troubles with SD Cards and ballots unaccounted for. There was thousands of VCM machines that was defunct and not working. Therefore, it is pure magic how the COMELEC was able to bring the results at such vast pace.

The results was coming quicker than the polling material to the polling stations. Heck, the polling results was nearly coming in quicker than the voters actually voted. There was long lines and machines which wasn’t accepting or registering the ballot itself. Therefore, something doesn’t add up.

Also, the lack of celebration and parades after the announced numbers. There was more celebrations for the landslide of Duterte. If he was winning this big and by these vast margins the people should be cheering in the streets. There should be big rallies and such, as their popular candidate to get ushered in. However, there only been small pockets of the public showing up and celebrating. Not in the manner of which you would think a man of over 30 million votes would get. Unless, there is buyers-remorse from the on-set, which would also be weird. Since, the product or campaign you bought into hasn’t even entered into office. So, there should just be joy and happiness that the dude you believed in won the elections.

That’s why it is even more striking when people are looking into it and they are seeing a pattern. This being the magical 68:32 Magic or the , which is automatically 68 percentage to Marcos Jr and 32 percentage to Robredo. Even if you don’t favour any of them… it is weird. It doesn’t add up, because the numbers should vary and be different. One region would give more support to one and more support to another. There should be variation of the numbers and percentages. Unless, they had pre-programmed this and wanted it to be believable. However, it only make you think that the people are fools.

When all of these things are happening, as well as the intimidation, electioneering and the running speed of announced results. It all begs the questions, if this was the real deal or a manufactured one. Because, the COMELEC could easily favour the UniTeam and their candidates, because they are continuation of the Duterte era. It is both in the family and follows the powerful dynasties control of the high ranking offices in the Republic.

All of these factors are leaving a bitter taste in your mouth. The COMELEC has already come into question with shady deals, shoddy VCM machines and everything else opens up a can of worms. Which needs to be addressed and investigated. The opposition and the losers should petition the courts, challenge the results and see what the authorities can explain or not. Since, you cannot just announce and proclaim someone the winner without a shadow of a doubt. The COMELEC and everyone else needs to be tested and prove their worth.

That isn’t only for the losers or the opposition, but for the belief in the whole system and keep COMELEC accountable for its own actions. They need to answer these things and ensure the grounds of trust between them and the public. Because, the COMELEC and their actions should be trusted and be transparent as well. That’s not what you can say about the Presidential Elections of 2022, which is really tragic and a loss.

This is why some people are grieving and felling a loss. While the victor isn’t really celebrating or throwing big feasts for their achievement, which it should have if it was an honest affair and a deserved result. Peace.

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