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Filipino Canadian activists protest alleged irregularities in PH elections

Rowena Papasin | TFC News Vancouver

Posted at May 14 2022 07:16 PM

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Simultaneous mass actions in different cities across Canada will be launched by Koalisyon Kontra-Daya after their members in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary all found a similar pattern in the election tally of the Philippine posts in these cities.

Like the certificate of challenge filed in Toronto on May 9, KKD national spokesperson Marissa Corpus said their Vancouver members also sent a letter to the consulate in the city to express their concern on the election tally.

"The same thing happened in Vancouver, in Ottawa and in Calgary, so the same difference in votes... We’ve demanded a manual recount and there will be mass actions happening simultaneously," Corpus noted.

Reacting to the challenge filed by the Bayan Muna partylist group, the Toronto consulate maintained that there was transparency during the entire overseas voting process and that they made sure they upheld the integrity of the polls.

Philippine Ambassador to Canada Rodolfo Robles confirmed that the Bayan Muna protest is included in the minutes of voting that they will send to the Commission on Elections, but he also clarified that they can only do a recount if ordered to do so by the poll body.

"I think Comelec will just give us instructions because we are just deputies," Robles said. "The only thing we can open is the SD card. All the minutes, all the papers, all the canvasses would be transmitted, sealed to Manila, Comelec, and then we’ll just wait for instructions from them on what to do."

The KKD admitted that the chances that Comelec will grant the recount are slim but for Corpus, a recount is the only way for them to prove their complaint. That's why they have also forwarded their protest to the group 'Lawyers for Leni' so that their complaint can be included in any court challenge.

"We'll go through the courts. You know, It’s a legal process. However, we cannot control what people will do in the streets, right, because if they keep on putting a plug on this and ignoring the cry of the people, we really don’t know how people will react, and whatever they do in Manila, for sure we will follow suit," Corpus said. She added that they are also willing to raise funds if needed so they can push for a manual recount in Toronto.

Meanwhile, Robles reported that more than 37% of the almost 90,000 registered voters in Canada took part in the polls on May 9. Ottawa had an almost 43% voter turnout, 31% in Toronto, nearly 48% in Vancouver, and more than 33% in Calgary.

"That’s beyond my expectation. I’m very happy about it, that our people here are responding to the call for participation in this political exercise," Robles shared.

Partial and unofficial results show former senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. leading the presidential race in Canada.