Press Release
March 9, 2016


CANDELARIA, QUEZON--Presidential race frontrunner Senator Grace Poe exhorted the voters to be vigilant in guarding the ballot to ensure that the results of the elections will reflect the will of the people.

Poe urged the public to work with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in seeing to it that their regional and provincial election officers nationwide would perform their mandate in having a credible elections.

While the use of vote-counting machines is a welcome development to the electoral process, she said it takes honest election officers to carry out truthful and fair elections.

"A watchful public will help ensure that the Comelec provincial heads are made accountable," she said.

In January, the Comelec reshuffled its regional election directors to forestall any accusations of partiality on the part of any election officials.

Poe, the lone independent candidate in the presidential race, asked non-government organizations, media entities, supporters and the public to be vigilant in guarding their votes to make sure that there would not be a repeat of the 2004 fraud.

In 2004, Poe's father, the late Fernando Poe Jr., lost the presidency amid alleged massive organized cheating. Recordings of phone conversations between then-incumbent President Gloria Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano showed that election results had been manipulated using field election officers.

"Talagang 'yan ang isa sa mga pangamba namin. Salamat rin na ngayon kumpara sa 2004 mas aktibo na rin ang non-government organizations (gaya ng) PPCRV, kasama na rin ang media sa pagbabantay. Pero kasama rin diyan dapat sinusuri mabuti 'yung sa PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines," Poe said.

The senator lauded Partido Galing at Puso senatorial bet Dick Gordon for bringing to the Supreme Court the need to issue vote receipts to make sure that all votes were counted and transmitted.

The High Tribunal on March 8 granted Gordon's petition and ordered the COMELEC to issue receipts. Before this, the poll body refused to enable receipt-printing feature and instead proposed visual verification of votes.

"Isa 'yan sa paraan kung saan mayroon tayong pruweba kung ano ba ang mga naging boto. So malaking pasasalamat kaya nga double victory kami kahapon. Kailangan natin ng mga matatapang katulad ni Senator Dick sapagkat siyempre kapag walang lumalaban ay walang mangyayari," Poe said.

The Supreme Court also granted yesterday Poe's petition to reverse the COMELEC ruling cancelling her certificate of candidacy for president. The magistrates voted 9-6 in Poe's favor, paving the way for foundlings to seek the highest post of the land.

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