/ 11 May 2022

THE NATIONAL Union of Students of the Philippines urged the Commission on Elections to investigate the alleged anomalies that hounded the national and local elections.

In a statement, the group said that it was not surprised that a “campaign period marred by illegal vote practices” led to an equally “precarious election proper.”

“The trail of blame leads us to Duterte’s COMELEC, to Dennis Uy’s Smartmatic. These four must answer to the attacks on our right to vote, our very democracy–lest they risk the indignation of the 37 million youth voters this year,” NUSP National Secretary-General Coleen Mañibo said.

It said that Election watchdog Kontra Daya has so far recorded 464 cases of “election anomalies,” 20% of which are related to vote counting machine errors.

There were also reports of election-related violence and state-sanctioned disinformation campaigns.

“We urge the Filipino studentry to lead in proactively safeguarding our democratic right to vote. Stand for clean and safe elections,” Mañibo said.

The group also accused Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero De Vera III for allegedly endorsing a vice-presidential candidate and five senatorial candidates in a forum held on Facebook Live on May 5.

“What De Vera did was gross misconduct and abuse of government resources during the election period. It is something gravely unwarranted from an educator who must stand for genuine good governance,” Mañibo said.

Kontra Daya said that De Vera endorsed Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as well as Gringo Honasan, Gilbert Teodoro, Manny Piñol, Loren Legarda, and Herbert Bautista.