Philippines: National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) – Update #3 – NAMFREL Reports on Statistics from the Bandwidth Test and Election Returns Photos Submission Through the NAMFREL App (09.05.2022)

Philippines: LENTE – LENTE observes persistent election offenses and irregularities (09.05.2022)

Philippines: National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) – NAMFREL Statement on Restrictions to the Public on Observing Closing of Voting and Taking Pictures of the Posted Election Returns (09.05.2022)

Philippines: National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) – Update #2 – Pockets of violence and intimidation mar an otherwise generally peaceful election day (09.05.2022)

Philippines: LENTE – LENTE observes long queues, technical and non-technical issues, and unlawful electioneering as the 2022 National and Local Elections open (09.05.2022)

Philippines: National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) – NAMFREL releases preliminary observations on the 2022 National and Local Elections (09.05.2022)

Philippines: Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) & Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – Joint Statement of Support to the Candidacies of VP Leni Robredo as President and Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio as Vice President (07.05.2022)

Opinion: Was this Attorney Vic Rodriguez campaign or BBM’s?

For as long as I can remember, the Spokesperson of the Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Junior Campaign, Attorney Vic Rodriguez has been the vocal one and his the voice of the BBM Presidential Campaign. That is another sign of weakness from the Presidential Candidate.

Rodriguez is the voice, the man of reason and the man of all seasons. He has been everywhere. While the Presidential Candidate has made puff pieces, videos for social media and commercials, but also participate on stages at campaign rallies. However, one-to-one interviews, public debates or COMELEC debates he has dipped out of.

That’s why he has been less vibrant and not in people’s faces. Maybe it is for a reason why Rodriguez is more out there. He has a way with words and knows the meaning of them. While the team is manufacturing what the candidate is saying. Because, they don’t trust his charisma or character in the public.

Maybe the team was afraid that the real “Bong Bong” would be revealed. It is easier to make him look loveable and brilliant for a few moments on stage. Than making him dodge hard questions or hear some possible insults at a debate. Neither would the world be able see him in long interview by an “unfriendly” or by “hostile” media-house. He has dodged it all and seemed like he was worried about the possible questions coming his way. It is really frightening that a man like that has been a front-runner and his been running away from every stress test possible.

Instead, we have seen Rodriguez answering all the media houses, publishing statements and seeing him creating headlines painting BBM in a good light. Nevertheless, if we didn’t know better… it would make more sense of Rodriguez to stand as a man and be the candidate. He has answered and been questioned. Which haven’t happened to Marcos Junior at all.

That is the entitlement and arrogance of “Bong Bong” is very evident. While he thinks this is a wise move, as his dipping through the traffic jam of campaigning and debating. Marcos Junior have gotten away and not taking an interview for the job. His trying to become the Head of State and the biggest representative of the Filipino Nation.

It is really striking that BBM is either afraid or has some personal issues with the press. Since his been so reluctant to show up. That’s why we know Vic, we have seen the attorney and read his quotes. He has spoken his peace and stood in front of the press conferences. Nevertheless, Marcos Junior have not been seen. He just vanished and only popped up for a brief moment at the rallies and went away. Maybe he was part of convoys to the campaign arenas too, but not that he was there for long either.

That’s why it’s weird so close to the end. That we know the Spokesperson better than the Candidate. The man who we are supposed to know and trust. His hidden behind the spokesperson and not been selling himself. Only sold on well-prepared and parts of promotional material, but not elsewhere. Neither has opened himself and played outside his comfort-zone. That’s why we don’t know how we will act under stress or when his under fatigue. No, we know none of that… but we know what Rodriguez will say and how he will defend “Bong Bong” Marcos.

So, my question is … was this Att. Vic Rodriguez campaign or BBM’s?

We know the answer, but we can wonder. If you study headlines and whatnot. You will find Rodriguez all over it. That should have been a worry, but it has been a strategy and I can just wonder if this will backfire. Peace.

Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC) – Task Force Kontra Bigay (06.05.2022)

Opinion: Duterte goes soft on vote-buying…

With regard to vote buying, you cannot control that because it involves the distribution of envelopes. But if you terrorize, you send goons, that’s a different story. We will clash. Whether you belong to my party or not, you know, behave” (…) ”Do not terrorize the people, the elections must be free and it must be credible” – President Rodrigo Duterte (19.04.2022).

Now that the term is soon over and the successor is soon elected in a few days. The Filipino President Duterte in the a recent rally went very soft on a common trick. The trick is that the richest campaigns and such is going around with envelopes and buying voters. They are coming with a few thousands pesos, if not lesser depending on the region and what office, which is at stake. The various of campaign teams has couriers who are walking around in the Barangay’s and ensuring the voters get paid.

However, the Omnibus Election Code of 1985 is very clear. Even if it is a “common” practice, which is why even I know about it from people I know in Mindanao. How it just occur and is a feature of any election. Where there is even talks of the amounts and which side that possibly gives the most to the electorate. Therefore, for a man who wanted to rule with “rule of law” and with “justice” as his program. It is sad to see that his defeatist to the code and not wanting to stop the election offense and practice, which is harming “free and fair elections”. Hard to be credible and to justify it when candidates are trying to out perform each other with pesos, instead of policy and political programs…

Just read the law here!

Sec. 261. Prohibited Acts. – The following shall be guilty of an election offense:

Vote-buying and vote-selling.

1. Any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value, gives or promises any office or employment, franchise or grant, public or private, or makes or offers to make an expenditure, directly or indirectly, or cause an expenditure to be made to any person, association, corporation, entity, or community in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in the election, or to vote for or against any aspirant for the nomination or choice of a candidate in a convention or similar selection process of a political party.

2. Any person, association, corporation, group or community who solicits or receives, directly or indirectly, any expenditure or promise of any office or employment, public or private, for any of the foregoing considerations.

b) Conspiracy to bribe voters. – Two or more persons, whether candidates or not, who come to an agreement concerning the commission of any violation of paragraph (a) of this section and decide to commit it” (Omnibus Election Code, 1985).

Its really striking that Duterte isn’t going hard on that. The man who worked so hard against the “pork barrels” and against “hidden budgets” for representatives and government officials. To ensure there was less bribes and streamline government entities. That has been done in his term.

So, it is sad to see him go out like this. Go so soft and mellow. Maybe his tired and looks forward to retirement. Nevertheless, it wasn’t as expected. Because, he goes hard on election violence and such. He won’t have any of that or intimidation of voters. However, his cool and doesn’t see a big problem with the spending, buying and indirectly bribing the electorate. Since the money cannot be traced and whatnot. By saying that… there is no real oversight over the campaigns, the donations or the transactions made by them. That is really weak and shows there is a need to put strings on that, if this election offense was to ever cease to exist.

Duterte going mellow. Who knew? That wasn’t anticipated… but it has happened. It is tragic, but life goes on. I expected more of him, but that’s maybe to much to ask. He rather take a step back and let bygones be bygones. Peace.

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