With nine of the twelve candidates running under the administration senatorial slate headed for victory, Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda hailed the results of yesterday’s polls a “renewed mandate for ‘tuwid na daan.’”
In a statement, Lacierda said the elections gave President Benigno Aquino III “a vote of confidence for good governance, the continuity of reforms, and a brighter future to come.”
Acknowledging that the midterm poll is a referendum on the Aquino government, Lacierda said Filipino voters “have spoken overwhelmingly to confirm and expand the mandate for reform and change that they first granted in 2010.”
The Palace also commended Filipinos for showing “tenacity and good cheer” in exercising their right to vote despite “isolated” incidents of election violence and glitches in the voting process.
“Our institutions—from the COMELEC to its deputized agencies—volunteers for poll-watching, media, and the public came together and did their utmost to ensure free, fair, and credible elections,” the Palace added in the statement.
The Palace also called on everyone to respect the will of the majority and to “stay on the path that the Filipino people have determined by virtue of their vote for change.”
Poll watchdog group Kontra Daya earlier slammed the conduct of the polls by COMELEC and Smartmatic, noting that 60% of poll problems monitored by the group are caused by malfunctioning precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
“Taxpayers paid P1.8 billion for these PCOS machines. The fact that we are seeing numerous cases of PCOS failures, malfunctions and delays only underscores the long-held observation that we were duped by Smartmatic. Comelec allowed the electorate to be shortchanged. This should be the last time we use these machines,” Kontra Daya co-convenor Gani Tapang said.
Fr. Joe Dizon, the group’s spokesperson, said it is not acceptable for COMELEC Chair Sixto Brilliantes to dismiss PCOS-related problems as mere hitches. He added that these problems caused long queues and overcrowded precincts, which may have affected voters’ turnout. “This is disenfranchisement, plain and simple,” Dizon said.