Colmenares hits ‘rotten’ elections, won’t concede
Refusing to concede in what he termed was a “rotten electoral exercise,” Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares on Wednesday vowed to continue fighting the ills of Philippine elections.
It would have been easy to concede if the polls had been fair and honest, said Colmenares, who ranked 20th in the latest unofficial tally.
“How can I concede to a rotten electoral exercise that has basically deceived, bribed, intimidated and manipulated our people into electing the worst kinds of leaders imaginable? I cannot,” he said.
The former Bayan Muna lawmaker cited the “unprecedented failure” of the vote-counting machines and storage cards on Election Day.
“In the evening, we saw how the transmitted results were withheld from the public for seven hours on some flimsy technical glitch that had never happened in the past three automated elections,” Colmenares said.
“Many of us slept and woke up to the TV screen showing 12 winning senators, not knowing what happened,” he said.
He deplored what he said was the use of government resources to promote pro-administration candidates, especially those endorsed by President Duterte.
“We saw how the rules— from postering and other campaign activities to widespread vote-buying—were being flouted with impunity up to Election Day, and the (Commission on Elections) seemingly blind or helpless about it,” he said.
“This year, honesty as a qualification for public office was openly thrown out the window. And vote-buying was justified by the highest official of the land,” Colmenares added. —MELVIN GASCON
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