MANILA – Students and activists on Tuesday camped out at Liwasang Bonifacio in Ermita to protest what they alleged were incidents fraud and cheating connected to the elections.
According to group Bayan Muna-Southern Tagalog, its members will try to sustain protests until the Commission on Elections explained the validity of the votes despite the number of vote-counting machines (VCMs) that broke down, and its alleged inaction against vote-buying.
The group’s spokesperson, Casey Anne Cruz, said the group will file a formal complaint against Comelec once it has fully documented the cases of faulty VCMs.
During the rally, random people gave out food and water to the protesters.
Activists and youth groups had called to take to the streets, as Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. held a sizable lead in the presidential elections, based on the partial and unofficial results of the poll body's canvassing.
On Monday, there were multiple reports of defective VCMs, alleged ballot-snatching in some provinces, and allegations of voters being asked to leave their ballots at the precinct.
The prospect of Marcos moving back into Malacañang has alarmed rights activists, church leaders and political analysts, who fear he would rule "without constraint."
The presidential candidate and his family were chased into US exile after Marcos Sr. was deposed following a decades-long rule marred by human rights abuses, killings, and corruption.
As of 9:47 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, Marcos had 31,048,319 votes. His closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, had 14,798,295, based on the Comelec's partial and unofficial results of canvassed votes.
Despite Marcos' considerable lead, Robredo, the face of the opposition, has not bowed out of the presidential race, as of writing, but read a statement early Tuesday calling for calm.
Her camp said it is seeking the help of experts in looking at the allegations of poll irregularities. – With a report from Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News