Colmenares refuses to concede, says polls were ‘hardly fair or honest’
MANILA, Philippines — Makabayan senatorial contender Neri Colmenares has refused to concede his loss in the senatorial midterm elections, arguing that the May 13 polls were “hardly fair or honest.”
The Bayan Muna chair also pointed out that he could not concede to a “rotten” electoral exercise that has “deceived, bribed, intimidated and manipulated our people into electing the worst kinds of leaders imaginable.”
“It would have been easy to concede had I lost in a fair and honest elections. But this year’s elections were hardly fair or honest,” Colmenares said in a statement Wednesday.
“I may have lost the count. But I will not be defeated. We will continue the fight for democracy, national sovereignty and social justice. Tuloy ang laban!” the left-leaning candidate vowed.
The opposition bet was at the 24th spot with 4,603,839 votes based on the 10:25 a.m. partial and unofficial tally of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV)-Inquirer Transparency Server. As of the same time, 96.26 percent of the nationwide election returns have been processed.
Colmenares went on saying that he saw several “failures” in the election process such as premature campaigning and the “spending of hundreds of millions on TV and radio advertisements” before and during the campaign period.
Government resources, funds, and facilities were also allegedly used to promote pro-administration candidates, according to Colmenares. He also cited a widespread violation of election rules like vote-buying.
President Rodrigo Duterete, he added, had also used his platform to lead the “vilification” of opposition and progressive candidates like him.
Colmenares also mentioned the failures in the vote counting machines and SD cards used to run those machines during the Monday polls, as well as the almost seven-hour application glitch that delayed the mirroring of election returns to media and PPCRV’s transparency server.
“Many of us slept and woke up to the TV screen showing 12 winning senators, not knowing what happened,” he added.
While Colmenares refused to concede defeat, opposition senatorial candidates from Otso Diretso have already accepted the outcome of the elections, except for reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino and former Sen. Mar Roxas who had been trailing behind the top 12 based on the latest unofficial and partial tally.
As of posting, reelectionist Sen. Cynthia Villar maintained her lead in the Senate race, followed by independent and incumbent Sen. Grace Poe, as well as administration-backed candidates Bong Go, Pia Cayetano, and Bato Dela Rosa. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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