Despite poor postal voting turnout
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands - At the closing of the Philippine Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) period in The Netherlands, it became obvious that postal voting may not be an effective means to get a huge voter turnout.
Pinoy Ronald Gavino is a prudent businessman, and when it comes to his vote, he said he will not take any risk.
Gavino was the last Filipino to hand in his ballot on May 10, just minutes before the 7 p.m. Manila time deadline (1 p.m. in Europe).
Gavino went to the Philippine embassy in The Hague to personally hand in his ballot despite the postal voting for OAVs here.
“Mas sigurado pa rin na dalhin ko personally compared na i-mail ko na baka mawala, kaya dinala ko na ngayon which is the last day of the voting,” Gavino said.
Gavino said he does not trust postal voting because of risks such as delay in delivery or mails lost.
The Filipino businessman may have a reason because even the embassy is starting to worry about the small turnout of votes ever since postal voting replaced personal voting here in 2007.
Only 33% of the 637 who registered for OAV voted.
Postal vs personal voting
More alarming is the more than one hundred “returned to sender” ballots that the embassy received.
“Whether we need to continue with the postal voting or get back to personal voting, we need to assess that and we need to consult the community about it. Kasi we have observed in the past elections that the percentage of voter turnout is lower than the first absentee voting in 2004 wherein we adopted the personal voting. In the last two elections, we adopted postal voting, so now, we have lower voter turnout,” Minister Counsellor Frank Cimafranka said.
Even if the valid ballots were a little more than 200, the manual counting still lasted from 4 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Compared to the senatorial elections held in 2007, many Pinoys came from different parts of Holland, like Utrecht and Amsterdam to watch the counting.
“I would like to be a witness of the historical changing of the Philippines that to win or lose I’m hoping this will be a victorious change for every Filipino, na magkaroon po ng pagbabago sa Pilipinas,” Rachelle Joy Roxas-Perez, a member of the Bagong Pilipino Bagong Pilipinas Movement (BPBPM) which supports Bro. Eddie Villanueva, said.
The Liberal Party tandem of Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Manuel “Mar” Roxas II swept the votes for President and Vice President.
Aquino received 110 votes while Roxas got 112.
This came as a big surprise because Nacionalista Party bet Manny Villar, who received the support of Migrante, which has about 100 members in its Netherlands chapter, only came in fourth with only 16 votes.
Gilbert Teodoro of Lakas-Kampi CMD came in third with 21 votes.
Another shocker was the inability of activist Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo to make it to the Magic 12 here when he received only 38 votes.
Ocampo has a lot of supporters from activists, party-list members and the Left organizations here in Holland.
Those who made it to the Magic 12 were: Franklin Drillon, 123; Ralph Recto, 108; Miriam Defensor-Santiago, 100; Pia Cayetano, 96; Teofisto Guingona III, 91; Risa Hontiveros, 89’ Sergio Osmena III, 75; Katherine Inocencio, 62; Francisco Tatad, 58; Juan Ponce Enrile, 54; Ferdinand Marcos Jr., 53 and Alexander Lacson, 52.
Citizens Battle against Corruptioin (CIBAC) received the most votes with 32 for the party-list system of elections. Many voters apparently disregarded the party-list vote.
The only result consistent with public expectations is the vote received by the Eddie Villanueva/Perfecto Yasay tandem.
Villanueva and Yasay came in second in the results for President and Vice President, with 50 and 42 votes respectively.
Villanueva has a big following here from the members of the Jesus Is Lord and the BPBPM.
Listening to the counting of the ballots, there were also “fantastic” combinations in the votes for president and vice president such as votes for Teodoro/Roxas, Aquino/Legarda and Aquino/Gordon.
The Pinoys really took time to think who they will vote for, not necessarily adhering to straight party voting.
And those who voted made sure that their efforts did not go to waste.