POSTSCRIPT / May 12, 2022 / Thursday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Marcos’ early lead is now irreversible?

Are impressive, though partial, election returns being used to condition the public to accept an impending majority win by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the May 9 presidential elections?

And why is Vice President Leni Robredo, his closest rival, being made to appear as set to concede when she said “the voice of the people is becoming clearer” just after propagandists circulated unofficial figures purporting to show Marcos pulling away?

Election personnel remove ballot boxes from a polling station after voting closed in Tondo, Manila. Photo: Bloomberg

That “voice of the people” fragment was taken from an address Robredo delivered early Tuesday morning to thank volunteers and others who had helped in her campaign.

A Marcos victory trend was also reported after a batch of election returns Monday night showed the Vice President always getting only 47 percent of the Robredo+Marcos votes. Is this 47:53 ratio sustained over an extended period of transmission statistically possible or has Robredo’s fixed share been pre-programmed?

The ensuing debate could have been minimized had the Commission on Elections shown timely and expert handling of issues, including such emergencies as the malfunctioning of vote-counting machines that had forced voters to wait for hours last Monday.

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Early Tuesday morning, Robredo thanked her supporters and assured them that their efforts have not been wasted. We found her original address in Filipino so moving that we looked for an English translation. We found this:

First of all, allow me to thank all who voted, all who in various ways convinced their family, friends, and even people they did not know to vote. To those who put their names and careers on the line just to help me deliver my message, to the millions who gathered in rallies, did house-to-house, put up tarps, posted on social media, created videos and ads, to the medics, to those who volunteered to clean up after every rally, the painters, musicians and singers who used their voices to show the strength of the hopeful people in this country.

Numbers cannot measure the depth of all your love. Thank you very much. I know it is not easy to accept the numbers coming out from the Quick Count. What we feel is not only regret but clear frustration. I see and feel this. Our frustration might reach a critical level because of the reported irregularities.

Until now people’s votes in some areas have not been counted. Others waited the whole day in their precinct until their votes were fed into the machine. I am with you in believing that this election should reflect the true voice of the people.

It is important that the people’s faith in the democratic process be strong. We will do our best to achieve this. We love our country but our love for country should not be the reason for us to be divided.

Not all votes have been counted and there are still questions pertaining to the electoral process but the voice of the people is becoming clearer. In the name of the Philippines that we love we need to listen to this voice because we have only one country.

For now, let us go back to what we experienced in the past months. There were many miracles that filled our hearts. At the very start, we knew that this will be a very difficult fight. We started with almost nothing but little by little donations started to come in. The “bayanihan” spirit (mutual cooperation for the public good, community help) became alive.

You were all inspired and beautiful work was created. Because of your generosity, we always had more than enough food and drinks in all our rallies. You got tired after each rally but managed to take the next step forward.

I did my best. You all gave your best… and much more. Nothing will match the peace that comes from this truth. Be content with what you gave. We started a campaign never before witnessed in our land. A campaign led and managed by the people. A movement not only to free ourselves from a rotten system but to build true, positive change. You put into action what democracy is, not only by voting but by loving your countrymen.

This is a huge victory. Our campaign will be considered a loss only if we will allow the movement we created to just fade away.

I am telling you now. Nothing went to waste. The important thing is we are not yet done. A movement was born and this movement will not die when the counting is over. Those who were awakened will not allow their eyes to close again. We should not put to sleep the hope that has awakened. We are just starting. A road has opened and this road will not close as precincts close.

I have no plans of abandoning what I have done all my life. My work to uplift the masses will continue. I am calling you to join me in this task. Our country needs your help and participation in fighting for justice, the rights of every Filipino, and our dignity as a people.

We have elections every three years. In between, we have a lot to fight for. So do not give up. Let the communities stay active. Continue to stand and fight for the truth.

The pillars of lies were not built overnight. There will be a chance and a proper time to dismantle these. Keep your hearts wide open. Feel for the people. Help carry their load. Continue the fight to uplift them. Continue to love.

Maybe not now, not tomorrow or the next day, or next year… but there is light waiting to shine on our country as long as we try to reach out for that light. The power is in the hands of the ordinary Filipino. You are the ones taking the lead. I will just follow. Do not give up.

Tomorrow and forever, the Filipino will become one. Thank you very much. Long Iive the Philippines.

(First published in the Philippine STAR of May 12, 2022)

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