'Change the rotten system:' Protests set as Marcos Jr. leads presidential race

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 10 2022 01:43 AM

Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. speaks during the UniTeam Miting De Avance on Aseana Avenue in Parañaque on May 7, 2022. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News/File
Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. speaks during the UniTeam Miting De Avance on Aseana Avenue in Parañaque on May 7, 2022. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — Activists and youth groups are calling for protests in the streets as Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. led the Philippine presidential elections by a wide margin based on the partial and unofficial results of the poll body's canvassing.

As of 12:32 a.m., May 10, 2022, Marcos Jr., the standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, obtained 27,391,261, based on 85.55 percent of partial, unofficial election results. 

Vice President Leni Robredo, his closest rival and the face of the opposition, was in second place, obtaining 13,076,367, as of writing. 

The University of the Philippines Office of the Student Regent announced there will be "no classes under a Marcos presidency."

"UP STUDENTS, WALK OUT!" it said.

The UP Diliman University Student Council also tweeted, "Takits sa Lansangan!" (Let's meet on the streets!), to which the University of Santo Tomas Central Student Council replied, "sama po kami" (we'll join you).

The UST's official campus publication, the Varsitarian, later reported the Central Student Council is "encouraging" the Thomasian community to join an "electoral protest" in front of the Commission on Elections' office in Manila.

Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes, Jr. also called for a protest in the same place on Tuesday.

"Laban tayo, mga kasama at mga kakampinks. Walang mawawala kundi tanikala. May ipapanalo pa tayong tunay na pagbabago pagkatapos ng halalang ito," Reyes said in a Facebook post

"Kakampinks" refers to supporters of Robredo, whose trademark campaign color is pink.

"Itakwil ang panunumbalik ng rehimeng Marcos-Duterte! Panagutin ang Comelec at Smartmatic sa maduming halalan! Baguhin ang bulok na sistema! Kita-kits sa Comelec sa Intramuros bukas ng 9 am," Reyes said.

On Monday, there were multiple reports of defective vote counting machines, ballot-snatching in some provinces, and voters being asked to leave their ballots at the precinct. 

The prospect of Marcos Jr. moving back into Malacañang has alarmed rights activists, church leaders and political analysts who fear he would rule "without constraint."

Reyes lamented the country's "corrupt system full of lies and ruled by businessmen, landlords and warlords."

He alleged there was cheating in Monday's polls, pointing to spread of massive disinformation and red-tagging by Marcos Jr. and the family of the latter's running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, whose father is President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Yung dayaan, maaga itong naganap, sa porma ng malawakang disimpormasyon, red-tagging, paggamit ng rekurso ng gobyerno, malawakang vote buying, kabiguan ng Comelec na aksyunan agad ang kasong disqualification, at ang malamang na dayuhang interbensyon. Yung dayaan ay systemic din, hindi lamang sa mismong araw ng halalan," Reyes said.

"Paano natin titignan ang resulta? Karapatan ng mamamayan na itakwil ang anumang resultang iniluwal ng sistematikong dayaan. Tulad noong 2019, hindi dapat basta mag-concede sa ganitong bulok na kalakaran. Hindi dapat basta na lang tanggapin ang pamamayagpag ng kasinungalingan, kurapsyon at panunupil," he said.

The presidential candidate and his family were chased into US exile after his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was deposed 
following a decades-long rule marred by human rights abuses, killings, and corruption.

Nearly 40 years after Manila began hunting for the billions of dollars plundered during Marcos's regime, much of the loot is still missing and no one in the family has been jailed.

There are fears the rest may never be found if Marcos Jr. wins the presidency, which would put him in charge of the government agency leading the global search.

Marcos Sr., his widow Imelda, and their cronies are estimated to have stolen as much as $10 billion from state coffers during his 20-year rule.

— With a report from Agence France-Presse

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