FilAms begin voting in bitter PHL elections

By Cristina DC Pastor

Ocho Diretso. Photo: Rappler

A couple from Queens said they just mailed their ballots last week for the May 13 Philippine elections. They would not reveal the names on their slate but hinted it had more Ocho Diretso opposition than government candidates.

A college professor said she too had mailed her ballot, and voted straight for the opposition ticket, referring to candidates Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Rep. Gary Alejano, Mar Roxas, Florin Hilbay, Romeo Macalintal, Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno, Samira Ali Gutoc-Tomawis and Lorenzo Tañada III.

Ocho Diretso promises to work toward promoting “politics of principles over politics of convenience.”

The pro-government Hugpong ng Pagbabago (Party for Change) has a slate of 13 members as opposed to Ocho’s eight. They are Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano, Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa, JV Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Go, Zajid ‘Dong’ Mangudadatu, Imee Marcos, Jiggy Manicad, Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, and Cynthia Villar. They pledged to advocate for the passage of the Duterte government’s priority legislation.

Both slates have candidates who descended from elite political families such as Roxas, Aquino, Diokno and Tanada from the opposition, and Marcos, Cayetano, Estrada, Pimentel, Revilla, and Villar from Hugpong.

Ocho is perceived as having a pro-poor agenda, while Hugpong has individuals who are either accused or convicted in serious corruption-related crimes. The Philippine Senate has 24 members, and they are elected every six years. Twelve seats are vacant and up election.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. has announced that all ballot packets have been mailed out to all registered overseas voters under the embassy’s jurisdiction using their registered addresses in COMELEC’s database. 

Hugpong ng Pagbabago. Photo: Business World

If one is a registered voter who has an address that is different from the address at the time of registration, there is a chance that the U.S. Postal Service has returned the person’s ballot kit to the embassy, the embassy said in a statement.

The embassy is open daily, including weekends and holidays, from 9  a.m. to 5 p.m. for the purposes of the 2019 elections.

Overseas voters with mailing labels that are addressed to the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. may personally claim their ballots at the Philippine Embassy’s Consular Building (1617 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington DC 20036)from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The embassy said further that if an individual’s name is not included in the Certified List of Overseas Voters (CLOV), this means:

-The person has not registered during the registration period; 

– The person may have been registered in the Philippines but failed to transfer his voting record when he/she moved here in the United States; 

-The person registered under a different Philippine Consulate or Embassy and not in Washington, D.C.; or 

-The person may have been deactivated by COMELEC for failing to vote in two consecutive elections.

You may send COMELEC a direct message via their Facebook page @overseasvotingph to clarify your registration status.

© The FilAm 2019

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