Leni to supporters: Reach out to fellow Filipinos
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - May 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Following the loss of the entire opposition slate in Monday’s midterm elections, Vice President Leni Robredo urged her supporters not to resort to name calling and instead to reach out to fellow Filipinos.

In a post on social media on Wednesday, the Vice President told her supporters not to name call and demean compatriots, saying they are the ones that the opposition must reach out to and connect at the most crucial times.

“In the last couple of days, I know that many of us have felt overwhelmed by frustration, disappointment and even anger. We have worked hard and fought against all odds for our motherland, and in the face of all that sacrifice and effort, the results of the elections and the numbers we are seeing so far are not easy to accept,” she wrote.

“But it is in these difficult moments when we must pass our biggest test. To be generous when we feel empty. To be hopeful when we feel lost. To be humble instead of looking for someone to blame,” she added.

Robredo said the fight is not over, citing challenges ahead following the failure of the opposition bets to make it to the winning circle of the senatorial race.

“The battle is not yet over. In fact, it has just begun and this is the time for us to show our greatest strengths, never to be clouded by our greatest fears,” she added.

Robredo actively campaigned for the eight opposition candidates, all of whom failed to crack the so-called Magic 12 in both the official and unofficial counts.

The best performing among them, re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino, is currently at 14th place.

Rigged elections? 

But the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) yesterday urged the public to unite against President Duterte’s alleged plan to take full control of the legislative branch of government.

KMU chair Elmer Labog said the Duterte administration rigged the results of the midterm election so he could control the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“The Filipino people must unite to condemn the gross electoral fraud the Duterte administration continues to commit as part of its maneuvers to grab full control over the three branches of government,” Labog said in a statement.

He noted that Duterte mobilized the entire state machinery to ensure the victory of his administration candidates and undermine the growing opposition against his tyrannical rule.

“The massive technical malfunctions have been used to cover up the electronic manipulation of votes evident in reports of massive disenfranchisement, pre-shading of ballots, uncounted votes for opposition bets or votes for opposition bets counted to administration candidates, anomalous swapping of dysfunctional SD (secure digital) cards and counting machines, non-transparent transparency servers and dubious delays in transmission of results,” Labog claimed.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, Labog said, attacked Duterte’s critics long before the elections.

If all Duterte-backed candidates are proclaimed, Labog said the President will be able to establish his dictatorial rule through federalism, Charter change or nationwide martial law.

A pro-Duterte Congress, he added, could also lead to unhindered passage of bills that are anti-worker and anti-Filipino people.

Labog said workers will link up with other groups to hold Duterte accountable for election rigging.

Most talked about on Twitter

They may have failed to win a Senate seat, but opposition bets have succeeded in generating the most conversation on social media platform Twitter.

Twitter Philippines, in a series of posts following the midterm polls last Monday, said candidates have actively used the platform to connect with the general public on a more personal level and to express their stand on issues and advocacies. 

Among the candidates, it was opposition candidate Samira Gutoc who emerged as the most talked about on Twitter during the election season.

She was followed by human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, former Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares, former solicitor general Florin Hilbay and former Quezon representative Erin Tañada.

Gutoc, Diokno, Hilbay and Tañada are part of the Otso Diretso opposition slate, while Colmenares was the candidate of progressive bloc Makabayan.

The five candidates, as well as the rest of the Otso Diretso slate, failed to make it to the winning circle based on both official and unofficial count.

Gutoc, Diokno, Hilbay and Tañada have conceded, but Colmenares said he will never concede “defeat to a rotten electoral exercise that has basically deceived, bribed, intimidated and manipulated our people into electing the worst kinds of leaders.”

Twitter said the political discussion varied from different stances, senatorial debates to other relevant matters around the elections such as peace and order, war on drugs and education.

The hashtags that trended include #Halalan2019, #Eleksiyon2019, #Eleksyon2019, #OtsoDiretso and #PHVote. – With Mayen Jaymalin

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS LENI ROBREDO
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