The camps of presidential candidates Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Jejomar Binay have raised concern over possible manipulation of results in the May 2016 elections in favor of the Liberal Party.
The ruling party headed by President Benigno Aquino is fielding Mar Roxas in the May presidential race.
Duterte is standard bearer of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban.
Binay carries the banner of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Peter Laviña, spokesman of Duterte, said that they are disturbed by the reports of cheating.
Laviña said that their fear is not without basis, saying that the administration, whose standard bearer continues to lag behind other candidates, has the machinery, easy access, and control over the process and technology.
The camp of Binay has also expressed fears of cheating by the administration party.Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman, said cheating could start at the National Printing Office (NPO).
“These reports of possible election fraud courtesy of the administration are reflective of the party’s deteriorating image and desperation, and indicative of the public crumbling trust in them,” Laviña said.
“Any attempts to distort the expressed will of the Filipino people, to twist and subvert this sovereign will, will be confronted with massive resistance and defiance — not only from us, but from the entire nation,” he added.
The Duterte camp urged all Filipinos to be vigilant against forces that will undermine the integrity of the election results.
“Let’s protect our future, our country, our democracy,” said Laviña.
Salgado said six top executives of the National Printing Office (NPO) suspended for graft continue to work in the sensitive office.
NPO prints the ballots to be used in the elections.
Salgado said the NPO and Malacanang have refused to follow a suspension order slapped against the six officers issued by the Ombudsman.
The officials, according to Salgado, could be part of a scheme by the administration party for NPO to print more ballots than needed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“Fight Hocus PCOS”
The camp of Duterte has also launched a campaign to alert the public of possible cheating in the upcoming polls.
The campaign called “Fight Hocus PCOS” will fight any effort to manipulate election results, according to Laviña.
The Duterte camp is calling on all Filipinos who hold sacred their right to suffrage.
They are urging supporters to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to implement an important feature of automated voting — the printed ballot receipt that should be issued to every voter.
The Duterte camp is sensing some rigging of online polls following Sunday night’s (February 21) debate.
Laviña said Duterte was the top choice of netizens in these polls, but the results show a different candidate at first place.
For Laviña, this is a clear effort to cheat.
He said Duterte’s party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), their lawyers and IT experts are already looking into this.
One Duterte supporter who is an IT expert told the mayor there’s a big potential the upcoming polls may be rigged.
The presidential candidate said he will not take this lightly.
He’s counting on intelligence groups in the police and the military to also find out if there are indeed plans to manipulate election results.