By Daine Mariel Chua


Despite prevailing as the top presidential choice, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. sought security on votation during his campaign on Monday, April 18, expressing concern regarding the controversies of unmatched actual vote results and pre-shaded ballots on the conducted absentee voting overseas.
In his campaign in Cebu Province, Marcos together with his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, expressed using their stage in promoting “vote protection” among their people when asked by the reporters.

“Nothing new really. It hasn’t changed. We continue to strengthen our organization. We are teaching our people vote protection. We’re at that stage,” he answered when asked a question about his “game plan” since there was only a few weeks remaining before the campaign period ends.

Although leading in the latest Pulse Asia pre-election survey released on April 6, whereas Marcos was declared as the top presidential choice with a 56% rating leading all locales — Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao — he remained alert as the actual voting is closing in.

“It’s a good result, but we cannot take that for granted,” he said following his call on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to assure correct vote counts.

Moreover, Marcos advertised “vote protection” after alleged disorder in the votation of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in respective Philippine embassies and consulates. 

Recently, during the absentee voting in Singapore, a pre-shaded ballot was given to a voter and claimed to be “unintentional,” following the embassy's defense saying it was an isolated incident. The Comelec addressed it by warning people that the rumors built up upon the “spoiled ballots” controversy is thereby unproven.

Problems were also encountered in terms of voting in Saudi Arabia, concerning the lack of indelible ink used after the ballot shading, as well as the late ballot distribution in Japan, which both caused delays.

The disorganization upon the commencement of overseas absentee voting raised alertness for the presidential aspirant. In 2016, Marcos filed multiple recounts before the Supreme Court Presidential Electoral Tribunal due to alleged “discrepancy” of votes. He lost multiple times.

Edited by: Anne Usero