Overseas absentee voters urged to be more vigilant amid reported anomalies



A RECRUITMENT industry leader has called on overseas Filipinos, who are qualified to participate in the ongoing overseas absentee voting for the May 9 presidential elections, to exercise more vigilance amid reports of anomalies marring the election process in some countries.

Recruitment consultant Lito  Soriano, president of LBS E-Recruitment Solutions and president emeritus of the Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI), one of the largest associations of licensed recruitment agencies in the country, urged overseas absentee voters, especially overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), to protect their votes.

“We have received such reports and we are still verifying them. Nevertheless, I am calling on overseas absentee voters to be more vigilant to ensure the integrity and sanctity of their votes. Lodge a report or complaint immediately if you encounter any anomaly,” he said.

Videos of OFWs complaining of anomalies in the overseas absentee voting, which started last April 9, swarmed social media recently.

There were complaints that they shaded the circle for Marcos on the ballot but it was not reflected in the voter-verifiable paper audit trails that came out of the machine after their ballots were inserted,

“Sabi nila baka nagkamali daw ako ng shinade. Hindi ako magkakamali, si BBM ang binoto ko. Kung nagkamali ako bakit lahat ng senatoriables ko lumabas? Bukod-tanging ‘yung presidente ko lang ang hindi lumabas?” an outraged female OFW said.

[They said I might have made an error ion shading. I won’t make that mistake, because I voted for BBM. If I made a mistake, why did all the senatoriables I voted for come out? It was just the one for president that was not reflected].

“That’s why I filed a complaint right away. This isn’t fake news because it happened to me,”sh e added, speaking mostly in Filipino in one of the videos about the elections that went viral.

Soriano also called for a more intensified campaign to ensure that the wide lead of presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. will be maintained.

“Let’s intensify campaigning to maintain BBM’s enormous lead – 60 percent lead. This will be record-breaking in the history of our overseas absentee voting. Let us campaign some more,” he declared.

“BBM does not let up in his tiring campaign, hence we should follow his lead. BBM deserves the massive support he is getting We continue to campaign to get more support for him from our OFWs,” Soriano stressed.

The recruitment consultant is also vice president of KBL-Sectoral Organizations, president of Kay BBM Lagi, – a parallel-group with more than 300,000 registered coordinators and members.

He was also co-convenor of Alyansa Duterte Bongbong (AlDuB) a parallel campaign group in the 2016 presidential elections.

Soriano also predicted that the forthcoming May 9 synchronized polls will be unprecedented in Philippine elections, with Marcos and his running mate Inday Sara Duterte garnering an overwhelming mandate as president and vice president.

He also forecasted that the OAV voter turn-out in this election could be the highest since it was implemented in 2004.

“With BBM’s enormous lead, this will be record-breaking in the history of our overseas absentee voting,” Soriano said.



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