'We are ready': Comelec dares protesters to file case over poll 'cheating' claims

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 10 2022 05:10 PM

Protesters from various sectors picket in front of the Comelec office in Manila on May 10, 2022, a day after Election Day. Partial, unofficial counts show Bongbong Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte leading the presidential and vice presidential race, respectively. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Protesters from various sectors picket in front of the Comelec office in Manila on May 10, 2022, a day after Election Day. Partial, unofficial counts show Bongbong Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte leading the presidential and vice presidential race, respectively. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday challenged protesters picketing outside its headquarters to take legal action over their claims of "cheating" in the presidential elections supposedly in favor of frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. 

Several progressive groups trooped to the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila to condemn alleged anomalies during elections the previous day. The groups are mostly supporting the presidential bid of Leni Robredo, who was a distant second to Marcos. 

Comelec acting spokesman Rex Laudiangco urged the demonstrators to file a case before a proper forum so the poll body could respond to the issues raised. 

"Ginagalang namin ang karapatan ng ating mga kababayan na magpahayag ng salooobin. Meron pong batas. Kung sila po ay may basehan, maaari nilang isagawa para proper ang ventilation ng ganitong mga proseso," he said in a statement. 

(We respect the right of our compatriots to air their sentiments. But there are laws which they can use for this process.) 

"Nakahanda ang Comelec na humarap sa proper forum. We are willing and ready kapag kami ay na-subpoena... Lahat ng records ay isinusumite namin," he added. 

(The Comelec is ready to face the proper forum. We are wiling and ready should we be subpoenaed. We will submit all our records.) 

Meanwhile, Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said any doubt on the accuracy of the results could be crosschecked when the certificates of canvass from the official count come out.

"Puwede naman natin i-check each election return in each province," he said. 

(We can check each election return in each province.) 

The country on Monday held its "historic" first national elections in the middle of a pandemic.

With nearly 98 percent of election returns counted, Marcos has secured some 30.9 million votes, more than double the 14.7 million votes of Robredo, based on aggregated Comelec data. 

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Visit the ABS-CBN News Halalan results page to see the partial unofficial tally of election returns. 

For other updates, visit ABS-CBN News' live blog here.