By Albert Hans Lipura

Amid record landslide wins in the presidential and vice-presidential races, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairperson George Erwin Garcia on Thursday, August 11, claimed that the May 2022 national and local elections are the "most successful election" in Philippine history.

Photo Courtesy of ABS-CBN News/Rappler

In supporting his claim, the chair cited an 82-percent trust rating from the latest Pulse Asia survey on the conduct of the May 2022 polls.

"Na-restore ang trust ng mga mamamayan sa Comelec. Marunong naman palang bumilang. Tama naman palang mag-proclaim," he said.

Garcia also mentioned that the speed and accuracy of the tallying of votes were a major factor as to why he declared the recent poll as the most successful election.

Sitting as Comelec commissioner in the recent polls, he recounted that by 10:00 PM of the election night, some presidential candidates were already calling at the time, perhaps to concede.

With this, he also denied claims about potential cheating during the elections, citing the said calls as proof that fellow candidates also believed the authenticity of the election results.

“Pinakamabilis din. 8:20 ng gabi, may result na. Hindi pinapaniwalaan. Dinadaya na raw, kasi 8:20 may result. Paano nagkaganon? Bakit noong 2019, nabanggit nga ni Atty. Frances kanina, eh may glitch ng 7 hours? Eto, 8:20 may result. In fact po, mga bandang 10 o’clock, may ilang presidential candidates na ang tumatawag doon. At that time, perhaps the winning candidate, upang mag-concede… So ang ibig sabihin, pinaniwalaan po nila ‘yung result ng eleksyon,” Garcia said.

Furthermore, the chairman also noted the decline in poll-related violence during the 2022 elections at only 23, which is much lower than the 166 incidents recorded in 2016, and 133 in 2019.

For this, he also acknowledged and thanked the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for their “intensified efforts.”

Garcia issued the statement during a gathering for the last leg of Comelec's post-election assessment for the automated election system in General Santos City last August 11.

Before being appointed as interim Comelec chair last month, Garcia was also named as Comelec commissioner by former President Rodrigo Duterte in March, which earned various criticisms as he represented then-vice presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his 2016 electoral protest filed against former Vice President Leni Robredo.

Edited by Annika Gorgeana Maningo