Amid faulty VCMs, Robredo urges Filipinos to stay vigilant
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo urged Filipinos to remain vigilant and document any irregularities on Monday, election day, following reports of malfunctioning vote-counting machines (VCMs).
In an ambush interview after casting her vote in Magarao, Camarines Sur, Robredo said they have set up hotlines which people can access and report any irregularities. She said lawyers are also on standby for any issues that may arise.
“Mayroon kaming pinut-up na hotline na pwedeng tawagan ng kahit sino na mayroong mga reklamo. Marami tayong lawyers on standby,” she told reporters on Monday.
“Kailangan lang ma-advise lahat na lahat na mapapansin nila na outside the norm kailangan i-report saka i-document. Kasi medyo nakakabahala yung mga reports all over the country ngayon,” she added.
According to Robredo, any attempt to subvert the people’s vote will dent the credibility of the whole electoral process.
“Pinaka-ayaw natin mangyari na mayurakan yung integridad at linis ng eleksyon na ito kasi doon magsisimula yung gulo. Sana kung mayroong mga nagpaplano, wag ituloy. Sana ipakita ng mga authorities na on top sila ng lahat na nangyayari,” she said.
“Kasi dito namana nakasalalay yung pagtitiwala ng tao sa pamahalaan. So sana malampasan natin itong araw na ito na wala nang untoward incident. Pero yun lang, yung advice lang natin, wag matakot. Marami tayong magtutulungan. Kailangan lang magtulungan tayong lahat,” she added.
Earlier, former senator Bam Aquino, Robredo’s campaign manager called on Filipinos to strengthen their resolve and endure the long queues and the hot weather, should the VCMs malfunction.
The opposition has received reports that VCMs in various poll precincts have malfunctioned, voters area also being asked to sign waivers and are being asked to leave their ballots behind to be inserted later into the VCMs once it is repaired.
I-save ang mga ito at i-share. Maraming salamat! pic.twitter.com/OGhN3u83r3
— Bam Aquino (@bamaquino) May 9, 2022ADVERTISEMENT
Another of Robredo’s staffers, spokesperson Barry Gutierrez, said that he was in line to vote at around 5:30 a.m. but he and other voters in his precinct were asked to go back as the VCM encountered errors.
Around 9:00 a.m., Gutierrez said that he has been in line for three hours but there has been no update except that a Smartmatic technician is on the way to address the issue.
Smartmatic is the automated election provider of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Photos sent to INQUIRER.net by concerned citizens showed some voters, including seniors who opted to leave their ballots behind at the Jose Rizal Elementary School in Tondo Manila.
Earlier, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said they have not received any major reports about a precinct having encountered problems.
He said the Comelec is taking this as a signal that a lot of areas have opened their voting precincts, as the poll body is focusing on reports of “problems and issues that prevented polling areas from starting.”
READ: Comelec spox: Lack of reports a sign that most voting precincts are now open
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