April 12, 2022
MANILA – DIPOLOG CITY, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines — Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the PROMDI presidential candidate, urged voters on Monday to trust the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the country’s electoral process amid concerns about the integrity of the 2022 elections following various complaints on the first day of the overseas absentee voting.
Pacquiao is here in Dipolog City for the Zamboanga del Norte leg of his campaign sorties brimming with optimism that he would get the support of the people in the province being the only Mindanaoan presidential candidate.
Pacquiao was met by Dipolog Mayor Darel Uy and his father, Zamboanga del Norte Gov. Roberto Uy, before doing a motorcade around the city.
The People’s Champ also had a “meet-and-greet” with supporters at the Roxas Municipal Gym in Roxas before holding a grand rally at the Zamboanga Center Convention Center.
Heavy rainfall initially threatened to disrupt his motorcade, but the sky cleared up when it was time for Pacquiao to go out and meet the people of Zamboanga del Norte.
“Trust the Comelec and everyone who is supervising the teachers in charge of the elections,” Pacquiao said in Filipino. “We know about their work. They are doing their work so we can have a clean and successful 2022 elections. That’s it. Let’s just give them our trust.”
The absentee voting for Filipinos abroad kicked off Sunday. But it was marred with complaints due to various mix-ups and mishaps.
Voting was stalled in Hongkong and North America due to the delay in the delivery of the ballots and other election paraphernalia and other “logistical difficulties.”
Overseas voting did not start as scheduled on April 10 in the Philippine embassies in Wellington, New Zealand; Islamabad, Pakistan; and Dili, Timor-Leste, as well as in the Philippine consulates general in Milan, Italy, and in New York, USA.
A total of 1,697,215 registered overseas absentee voters are set to vote for national candidates from April 10 until Election Day on May 9. Overseas voters may only vote for president, vice president, 12 senators, and a party-list group.
Some groups have aired concerns about the various problems in the implementation of the absentee voting as provided under Republic Act 9189 as it could be used to manipulate the results of the election. But Pacquiao maintained that he was confident the Comelec would uphold its duty to maintain a clean, honest, and peaceful elections on May 9.
Pacquiao also expressed confidence that he would get a huge vote from overseas Filipinos because of his authorship of various measures that seek to protect OFWs — such as Republic Act 11227 or the Handbook for OFWs Act of 2018, and his background as being the national pride for being one of the world’s greatest boxer.
“The OFWs know that at least, once upon a time, the OFWs were my fans whenever I was fighting. So they know I’m running. Maybe they have seen our program [of government] because we have been long posting it on social media,” Pacquiao said.