Lawyers' groups seek to ensure 'genuine' Halalan 2022

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2021 08:49 PM

MANILA — The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and Legal Network For Truthful Elections (LENTE) have signed an agreement to help achieve a “genuine 2022 national and local elections” next year.

The two organizations signed a memorandum of agreement on Monday at the IBP Building in Pasig City.

“There is no real democracy without real elections, and we want to put things right in our country,” said LENTE founder and honorary chairman Christian Monsod.

“I am a believer that the (Commission of Elections) bureaucracy will do its job well in the coming 2022 elections. Nonetheless, there cannot be fair, free and orderly elections until we do our par ... 2022 elections is a test of our vision of bureaucracy of the democracy,” he said.

Both parties have been partners for years, having signed agreements for the 2007, 2010, and 2016 national and local elections, “ensuring accountable, transparent, inclusive elections” in the country.

“The IBP with its regional and chapter organizations, will work with LENTE and other partners to ensure the rule of law is upheld during the conduct of our upcoming elections, by helping educate and capacitate the public on the different elections, laws and processes, establish wider possible collaboration,” IBP national president Burt Estrada said.

The groups will focus on disinformation by using a “three-pronged approach,” said LENTE executive director Atty. Ona Caritos.

“One is to conduct public activities to address misinformation,” said Caritos.

“Second— if the need arises is to file cases against purveyors of misinformation. And last is to pursue electoral reform after the election, which is the most overlooked stage.”

They also plan to enlist the help of tech and digital experts, along with other civic groups to “better understand the technological side aspect of the electoral process”, as well as better monitor it.

Poll watchdog Kontra Daya earlier trooped to the Comelec headquarters to submit a letter containing its list of "demands" to ensure clean and honest elections" in 2022.

During their press conference, Kontra Daya raised the alarm over what it observed as widespread disinformation "by the incumbent and presidential frontrunner who is intent on lying their way to Malacañang."

The group also urged the voting public to be vigilant amid the "lack of transparency" in the electoral system in Halalan 2022.

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