THE ruling Liberal Party of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III might resort to poll fraud to secure the electoral victory of its official bet, former interior and local government secretary Manuel Araneta Roxas II.
This concern was raised by Peter Lavina, spokesperson of presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte, during a meeting with reporters in Manila’s historic district of Tondo, where Duterte, the controversial mayor of Davao City, officially started his presidential campaign Monday. He said the commission of fraud is a possibility in view of the continuing erosion of the people’s trust on the ruling party and its ability to provide good governance.
“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. The fear is not without basis as the administration, whose standard bearer continues to lag behind other candidates, has the machinery, easy access, and control over the process and technology,” Lavina said as he asked the electorate to be vigilant against poll fraud and those who would commit and perpetuate it.
“We urge our fellow Filipinos to be vigilant against forces that will undermine the integrity of the election results. Let’s protect our future, our country, our democracy,” Lavina said.
Duterte, who is running with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), earlier warned of resistance against any attempts to distort the expressed will of the Filipino people. He said “to twist and subvert this sovereign will, will be confronted with massive resistance and defiance, not only from us, but also from the entire nation.”
Meanwhile, PDP-Laban welcomed the recent Pulse Asia survey placing Duterte statistically tied at second place with two other presidential candidates.
Lavina explained that “to maintain a rating of 20 percent at this point is inspiring and is giving us more determination to wok hard in our ultimate goal of instituting genuine change in our country.”
The Duterte-Cayetano tandem kicked off its first official campaign rally in Tondo, Manila to meet migrants from the Visayas and Mindanao, Lavina said. He added Duterte has decided to start his first campaign rally in Tondo because it has become a symbol for a hopeful journey for change.
“Unfortunately, Tondo mirrors the squalor, the neglect by government, the disparity between rich and poor that characterize the state of our nation,” Lavina lamented.
Lavina stressed that Mayor Duterte and Senator Cayetano platforms of government are “anchored on ending crime and corruption, increasing social services, promoting economic growth through regional development, building peace, and re-engineering the government system to be responsive to the needs of the citizenry with equality before the law.”
At the same time, Lavina reminded the Duterte-Cayetano campaign team and its supporters to adhere to all rules and regulations set by the Commission on Elections on campaign activities, propaganda, election finance, voting, canvassing and proclamation of winners, among others.
“The Comelec, media, and all our people can expect a high level of campaigning in contrast to traditional politics (trapo) who like mudslinging, character assassination, vote buying, threats and intimidation and electoral violence. We can help effect reforms in our people’s political culture, discarding old practices, and adopting new styles and forms of electoral campaigning,” Lavina said.