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MAY 12, 2013

NR # 3101C

Solons urge Filipinos to vote wisely and be vigilant against poll cheating
House members today urged voters to go out and vote wisely on Monday, and be on guard against all possible forms of poll cheating to protect the sanctity of the ballot. The call was issued by Reps. Simeon Datumanong (2nd District, Maguindanao) and Hermilando Mandanas (2nd District, Batangas) as some 52 million voters are expected to troop to polling precincts nationwide. Precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., for voters to choose their senatorial, congressional and other local candidates. Datumanong, a former Deputy Speaker for Mindanao, called on Filipinos to exercise their right to suffrage by participating in the mid-term elections. We urge them to join this important political exercise, and to choose wisely our political leaders in the Senate, House and local government units by checking on the candidates track record, platform, agenda and accomplishments. He said the Commission on Elections has even assured that persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens, and illiterate voters will be given assistance by the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) on election day. The campaign period is over. It is now judgment time for our voters. We call on them to choose only the most qualified and deserving candidates, said Datumanong, a former justice secretary. He also urged voters to exercise vigilance against all possible forms of poll cheating. Let us all do our share in preventing those who plan to employ guns, goons and gold to manipulate the results of the elections, he said. Mandanas, former Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, enjoined everyone to pray for the success of the coming elections. Let us all pray that the coming elections will be clean and peaceful, and that our voters will choose the right candidates who can serve best the welfare and interest of our people and of our nation, Mandanas said. He added, We urge all registered voters to go out and vote wisely on Monday. Let us not waste this golden opportunity to be the chooser of our nations future leaders. Voters should also do their share at ensuring the peaceful and honest conduct of the elections according to the lawmaker. As Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said, vote-buying had become more rampant because candidates have fewer means now to manipulate the vote after the automation of elections in 2010. We should be on guard against poll cheating. Let us abhor all forms of cheating during elections and always, said Mandanas. On the national level, each voter is allowed to vote for up to 12 senatorial candidates and one partylist group. For the local positions in cities and municipalities, the voter may choose one representative/congressman, one mayor, one vice mayor, and the allotted number of councilors. For those in the provinces, a voter will also choose a governor, a vice governor, and provincial board members. (30) rbb