2016 Presidential elections might be one of the most controversial polls, since it has been converted to automated. Aside from that, absentee voting has been indulged with certain controversies even before it was implemented. Many voters are questioning if the results are reliable. Overseas Filipino Workers are posting several complaints with regard to the on-going elections abroad.
One of the most viral complaints is a photo of an alleged official ballot having names of Liberal Party presidential and vice presidential candidates, Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, being highlighted with yellow. This picture has outraged Filipino netizens in the Philippines and abroad.
Here is the image of the alleged ballot:
|Image from: Rachfeed|
After it’s gone viral, COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez quickly disputed the post. In his interview with Manila Bulletin, he mentioned: “Isn’t common sense that if your campaign is producing a sample ballot for your candidate, it is expected that you will highlight your candidate? We’ve seen it many times in the past. Sample ballots wherein the name of the candidates has a big font size or the name of the candidate having a different color. Others even underscore, the name.”
“COMELEC does not come out with sample ballots like that. COMELEC comes out with official ballots and you can get this only from BEI (Board of Election Inspectors),” Jimenez also pointed out.
The spokesperson’s statement was duly seconded by an alleged OFW named, Frank Resma from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who supposedly saw the real ballots. He stated on a Facebook post dated April 9: “I’ve seen the ballot at wala po o hindi po shaded ng dilaw ang ballot ng kandidato.”
“SA UMIIKOT NA PICTURE SA SOCIAL MEDIA NA HIGHLIGHTED ANG NAMES NG KANDIDATO AY HINDI PO YAN TOTOO, I’VE SEEN THE BALLOT AT WALA PO O HINDI PO SHADED NG DILAW ANG BALLOT NG KANDIDATO.”
In a separate report of the Manila Bulletin, Former COMELEC Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal contested the eligibility of Roxas and Robredo in using the phrase “Daang Matuwid,” along with their names on the official ballots. He emphasized in his Twitter post that it is a campaign slogan and not a nickname, hence, cannot be used by two candidates. This has been refuted again by the spokesperson Jimenez by saying that it’s the candidate’s right to include a chosen nickname on their Certificate of Candidacy.
Is this just a black propaganda? If the allegations have evidences, then how can the government assure the voting public that the election results are reliable? Share your thoughts in the comment box. 🙂
Ballots Having Highlighted Names of LP Candidates Disclaimed by COMELEC!