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ELECTION DAY AS GATHERED AND UPLOADED FROM PHILSTAR  HEADLINES, MAY 9 from 11 AM (TORONTO TIME)

2016 POLLS 'MORE VIOLENT' SAYS MONITOR


MAY 9 --11 AM TORONTO TIME -A Filipino woman votes at a polling center in Manila, Philippines on Monday, May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos trooped to elections centers Monday to pick a new president, vice president and thousands of other officials amid tight security across the country. AP / Aaron Favila
With an apparent increase in election-related human rights violations, an election watchdog said Monday that this year's national and local polls appeared to be more violent than in recent elections. Rona Ann Caritos, executive director of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), said they have seen a spike in reports of election-related human rights violations in days leading to the elections. As of 1:30 p.m., more than 230 cases of election-related offenses have already been reported to the monitoring center of Bantay Karapatan sa Halalan (BKH) at the main office of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Caritos said among the incidents reported included cases of shooting or ambush, such as the one in Cavite before dawn yesterday that claimed the lives of seven people. Other incidents include attacks on polling precincts, threats and intimidation of voters, vote buying, and distribution of sample ballots. LENTE also noted incidents of voter disenfranchisement due to problems in the vote-counting machines (VCMs). "This is a more violent elections," she told The STAR. "The numbers are really different." CHR chairman Chito Gascon said they are still in the process of verifying the reports that their volunteers have monitored. READ MORE...

ALSO: Duterte breaches 12-million mark in unofficial tally


MAY 9 --Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte smiles during a news conference shortly after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city, southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was the last to vote among five presidential hopefuls. AP/Bullit Marquez
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is leading the presidential race, reaching more than 12 million votes as of 10:10 p.m., according to the partial, unofficial tallies transmitted by the Commission on Elections transparency servers. READ BELOW UNOFFICIAL TALLY...

ALSO: Rody Duterte, Bongbong Marcos top SWS partial exit poll


Philippine presidential race front-runner Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his final campaign rally in Manila, Philippines on Saturday, May 7, 2016. A bruising presidential campaign drew to a close in the Philippines Saturday with a last-minute attempt by the president to unify candidates against a front running mayor perceived as a threat to democracy virtually collapsing. AP/Aaron Favila
Presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte and vice presidential bet Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. topped the Bilang Pilipino TV5-SWS exit poll on Monday.
Duterte topped the presidential survey with 39.6 percent followed by Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas II with 24.6 percent. Sen. Grace Poe ranked third with 19.2 percent, followed by Vice President Jejomar Binay with 12.9 percent and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago with 2.9 percent. Marcos led the vice presidential bets with 34.9 percent, followed by Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo with 32.5 percent. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano placed fourth with 15.3 percent while Sen. Francis Escudero scored 10. 7 percent. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Sen. Gringo Honasan scored 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. The exit poll was conducted among 18,116 of minimum 40,100 voters from 802 sampled voting centers nationwide, covering all provinces and chartered cities of the country. It was conducted from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on randomly selected voters coming out of the voting centers. The exit poll was held 50 meters away from the polling centers. RELATED: Duterte, Marcos lead in PPCRV partial, unofficial tally FULL REPORT

ALSO: Inconsistencies on voting receipts, ballots hound general polls


MAY 9 -Filipinos vote for the country's presidential elections at the front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's hometown of Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos began voting Monday in a presidential race where a foul-mouthed, crime-busting mayor is favored to win, but who the outgoing president says is a threat to democracy. AP/Bullit Marquez
 Several issues on the voters' lists and voting receipts have been reported as the general elections continue on Monday.
As of 2 p.m., the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) have recorded two incidences of inconsistencies between voting receipts and ballots. In a precinct at Barangay Kalumbayan in Ilocos Sur, one receipt indicated Sen. Grace Poe instead of Vice President Jejomar Binay. Namfrel is still verifying a report from Zamboanga del Norte that when a voter voted for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the name of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas appeared on the receipt. In Mandaluyong City, a voter was disenfranchised for not being included in the voters' list despite completing the registration process. Missing names and names of dead people were also detected in the voters' list at Bronce Pilot School in Maguindanao. Aside from malfunctioning vote-counting machines, some voters have also reported election violations. READ: Vote-counting machines fail in first polling hours In San Fernando, Pampanga, a voter complained of being threatened by a Board of Election Inspector of being sued for fraud. The voter complained that some of the ballots in their precinct have been rejected due to the marker's ink that was seeping through the other side of the ballot. An incident of punching was reported inside a polling precinct at Hamidhalin Elementary School in Sulu. One person was reported injured. Namfrel volunteers deployed nationwide have been sending reports to its operations center as early as the voting started on Monday morning. FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Philippines's political, electoral reforms remain uncertain


MAY 9 -Voters queue at the Inosluban Marawoy Elementary School in Lipa City, Batangas earlier this morning on election day. The Filipino Connection / Marlon Alexander Luistro 
(The Filipino Connection) — Noel Gatiano, 31, clings tight to his taxi's steering wheel like there's no tomorrow. It was the eve of a much-awaited national democratic exercise; traffic's a breeze—with no snatchers or hold-uppers roaming around—at Greenhills, San Juan City. Gatiano drove fine and safely brought his passenger home.
But the day he'll eagerly vote at Barangay Cupang in Antipolo City for his preferred president is here. Gatiano hopes his eagerness to vote will be as smooth as his taxi drive the night before—as smooth as what his preferred president wants to do for the country. Gatiano's nation, the Philippines, is hoping for the best in this search for the 16th president of Asia's youngest democracy. Today's multi-party election is as colorful, uncertain and unpredictable as one can imagine—even up to the day when campaigning ended May 7th with crowds, speeches, colors galore lighting up Manila's night skies. This election is the litmus test for a sitting government's "straight path" (Daang Matuwid in Filipino) reform measures, and is possibly the end of the political story of the Aquino family. This election also marks the third round of what remains to be the biggest game changer in Philippine electoral reforms: automated voting. Only this time, voters got glued to three rounds of presidential debates and a round of a vice presidential debate. The boob tube is the Filipino voter's new electoral game changer even as voters remain wary of the frailties of vote counting machines (given the Commission on Election's previously-hacked website weeks before today's vote).  Twists  The presidential and vice presidential derbies had their twists and turns as the months progressed. From being an undecided, last-minute substitute last December 2015, clench-fisting Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte –leader of an almost-moribund political party called PDP-Laban– zoomed to the top of the last three rounds of surveys by local polling firms Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

2016 polls 'more violent,' says monitor


A Filipino woman votes at a polling center in Manila, Philippines on Monday, May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos trooped to elections centers Monday to pick a new president, vice president and thousands of other officials amid tight security across the country. AP / Aaron Favila

MANILA, MAY 9, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Janvic Mateo (philstar.com) | Updated May 9, 2016 - 6:07pm 33 7 With an apparent increase in election-related human rights violations, an election watchdog said Monday that this year's national and local polls appeared to be more violent than in recent elections.

Rona Ann Caritos, executive director of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), said they have seen a spike in reports of election-related human rights violations in days leading to the elections.

As of 1:30 p.m., more than 230 cases of election-related offenses have already been reported to the monitoring center of Bantay Karapatan sa Halalan (BKH) at the main office of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Caritos said among the incidents reported included cases of shooting or ambush, such as the one in Cavite before dawn yesterday that claimed the lives of seven people.

Other incidents include attacks on polling precincts, threats and intimidation of voters, vote buying, and distribution of sample ballots.

LENTE also noted incidents of voter disenfranchisement due to problems in the vote-counting machines (VCMs).

"This is a more violent elections," she told The STAR. "The numbers are really different."

CHR chairman Chito Gascon said they are still in the process of verifying the reports that their volunteers have monitored.

READ MORE...

"These are raw reports, what we are doing is that we are verifying and validating," he added.

BKH is an initiative of CHR and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), in partnership with human rights groups and election monitors, to look into cases of election-related human rights violations.

In its report on May 3, BKH said that it has confirmed 53 victims of election-related human rights violations, including 22 who were killed in connection with the upcoming polls.

An updated report is expected to be released later this week.

Under an agreement with Comelec, CHR will be able to file complaints against those monitored to have committed election-related human rights offenses.

"As watchdog institutions, we need to send the signal to perpetrators… that they can’t do that. There are rules, there are expected behavior and if they cross the line, we call them out," he said.

Caritos said they are hoping that the prosecution rate of violators of election-related offenses will increase with the intervention provided by CHR.


PHILSTAR

Duterte breaches 12-million mark in unofficial tally (philstar.com) | Updated May 9, 2016 - 10:27pm 6 64 googleplus0 1


Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte smiles during a news conference shortly after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city, southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was the last to vote among five presidential hopefuls. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 7 10:27 p.m.) — Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is leading the presidential race, reaching more than 12 million votes as of 10:10 p.m., according to the partial, unofficial tallies transmitted by the Commission on Elections transparency servers.

The unofficial results of the presidential race were:

Rodrigo Duterte: 12,051,853

Manuel Roxas II: 6,861,153

Grace Poe: 6,825,103

Jejomar Binay: 4,074,465

Miriam Defensor-Santiago: 1,208,281

Unofficial results of the vice presidential race are as follows:

Ferdinand Marcos Jr.: 11,001,468

Leni Robredo: 10,232,663

Alan Peter Cayetano: 4,243,210

Francis Escudero: 3,568,037

Antonio Trillanes IV: 609,269

Gregorio Honasan II: 532,810

More than 70 percent of votes from 92,509 clustered precincts were so far counted.


PHILSTAR

Rody Duterte, Bongbong Marcos top SWS partial exit poll By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated May 9, 2016 - 7:39pm 2 59 googleplus0 0


Philippine presidential race front-runner Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his final campaign rally in Manila, Philippines on Saturday, May 7, 2016. A bruising presidential campaign drew to a close in the Philippines Saturday with a last-minute attempt by the president to unify candidates against a front running mayor perceived as a threat to democracy virtually collapsing. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte and vice presidential bet Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. topped the Bilang Pilipino TV5-SWS exit poll on Monday.

Duterte topped the presidential survey with 39.6 percent followed by Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas II with 24.6 percent.

Sen. Grace Poe ranked third with 19.2 percent, followed by Vice President Jejomar Binay with 12.9 percent and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago with 2.9 percent.

Marcos led the vice presidential bets with 34.9 percent, followed by Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo with 32.5 percent.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano placed fourth with 15.3 percent while Sen. Francis Escudero scored 10. 7 percent.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Sen. Gringo Honasan scored 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The exit poll was conducted among 18,116 of minimum 40,100 voters from 802 sampled voting centers nationwide, covering all provinces and chartered cities of the country.

It was conducted from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on randomly selected voters coming out of the voting centers. The exit poll was held 50 meters away from the polling centers.

RELATED: Duterte, Marcos lead in PPCRV partial, unofficial tally


PHILSTAR

Inconsistencies on voting receipts, ballots hound general polls By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated May 9, 2016 - 5:38pm 1 14 googleplus0 0


Filipinos vote for the country's presidential elections at the front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's hometown of Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Millions of Filipinos began voting Monday in a presidential race where a foul-mouthed, crime-busting mayor is favored to win, but who the outgoing president says is a threat to democracy. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Several issues on the voters' lists and voting receipts have been reported as the general elections continue on Monday.

As of 2 p.m., the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) have recorded two incidences of inconsistencies between voting receipts and ballots.

In a precinct at Barangay Kalumbayan in Ilocos Sur, one receipt indicated Sen. Grace Poe instead of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Namfrel is still verifying a report from Zamboanga del Norte that when a voter voted for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the name of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas appeared on the receipt.

In Mandaluyong City, a voter was disenfranchised for not being included in the voters' list despite completing the registration process. Missing names and names of dead people were also detected in the voters' list at Bronce Pilot School in Maguindanao.

Aside from malfunctioning vote-counting machines, some voters have also reported election violations.

READ: Vote-counting machines fail in first polling hours

In San Fernando, Pampanga, a voter complained of being threatened by a Board of Election Inspector of being sued for fraud. The voter complained that some of the ballots in their precinct have been rejected due to the marker's ink that was seeping through the other side of the ballot.

An incident of punching was reported inside a polling precinct at Hamidhalin Elementary School in Sulu. One person was reported injured.

Namfrel volunteers deployed nationwide have been sending reports to its operations center as early as the voting started on Monday morning.


PHILSTAR

Philippines's political, electoral reforms remain uncertain By Jeremaiah M. Opiniano (philstar.com) | Updated May 9, 2016 - 5:03pm 9 56 googleplus0 0


Voters queue at the Inosluban Marawoy Elementary School in Lipa City, Batangas earlier this morning on election day. The Filipino Connection / Marlon Alexander Luistro

MANILA, Philippines (The Filipino Connection) — Noel Gatiano, 31, clings tight to his taxi's steering wheel like there's no tomorrow. It was the eve of a much-awaited national democratic exercise; traffic's a breeze—with no snatchers or hold-uppers roaming around—at Greenhills, San Juan City. Gatiano drove fine and safely brought his passenger home.

But the day he'll eagerly vote at Barangay Cupang in Antipolo City for his preferred president is here. Gatiano hopes his eagerness to vote will be as smooth as his taxi drive the night before—as smooth as what his preferred president wants to do for the country.

Gatiano's nation, the Philippines, is hoping for the best in this search for the 16th president of Asia's youngest democracy. Today's multi-party election is as colorful, uncertain and unpredictable as one can imagine—even up to the day when campaigning ended May 7th with crowds, speeches, colors galore lighting up Manila's night skies.

This election is the litmus test for a sitting government's "straight path" (Daang Matuwid in Filipino) reform measures, and is possibly the end of the political story of the Aquino family. This election also marks the third round of what remains to be the biggest game changer in Philippine electoral reforms: automated voting.

Only this time, voters got glued to three rounds of presidential debates and a round of a vice presidential debate. The boob tube is the Filipino voter's new electoral game changer even as voters remain wary of the frailties of vote counting machines (given the Commission on Election's previously-hacked website weeks before today's vote).

Twists

The presidential and vice presidential derbies had their twists and turns as the months progressed. From being an undecided, last-minute substitute last December 2015, clench-fisting Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte –leader of an almost-moribund political party called PDP-Laban– zoomed to the top of the last three rounds of surveys by local polling firms Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia.

READ MORE...

Beningo Simeon Aquino III's anointed bet Manuel Roxas III of the Liberal Party aimed to sustain the "straight path" reform message together with grassroots-based reformist Maria Leonor Robredo as vice president. But the grandson of a post-World War II Philippine president never led the poll surveys, unlike the rising Robredo.

Young senator Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares had overcome her US citizenship issues with a favorable Supreme Court decision but this independent bet had lost her lead in the surveys to the brash-talking Duterte. The same downturn fate fell on early front-runner and outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance, with opponents reminding the public of his corruption allegations and charges.

Eloquent Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago of the People's Reform Party is visibly slowed by her cancer recovery, but running mate Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is gaining headway in recent surveys thanks to a message of combining hands-on experience in governance with his shrugging off of the nation's harrowed memories of martial law —by his father Ferdinand Sr.— a generation ago.

Turns

All these developments come in the throes of an emerging economy whose rising gross domestic product per capita may have helped reform the way the middle class will be choosing the next leaders, says political scientist Jean Encinas-Franco of the University of the Philippines.

Yet this election also reflected Filipinos' frustrations in wanting instantaneous reforms that are for the better. Filipinos were hopeful for change when President Aquino III won in 2010 on an anti-corruption crusade. The corruption-busting measures then helped lift the macroeconomy to a sustained growth streak (that began with the last 1.5 years of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) that's unseen in three decades.

Aquino also busted previous Filipino political practices like showing his face in tarpaulins of government projects. It was also during Aquino's term that a high-profile corruption case—the deliberate siphoning of senators' and congress people's funds for supposed public projects—was stopped.

But observers think events such as the massacre of 41 special action forces in Mamasapano, Maguindanao (in southern Philippines) by suspected terrorists in January 2015; the challenges of overcoming the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013; or even handling the legality of using government agencies' savings may have dismayed Filipino voters.

Social media became the political gladiators' den, providing a "new" arena for both voters' enlightenment and discord. Offline, at the grassroots where the unconnected ones on social media are to be physically found, there's also division: my fellow taxi drivers, says Gatiano, have varied bets (even a last-minute, damaging television advertisement targeting at Duterte's cuss words had "changed" the preferences of some of Gatiano's fellow taxi drivers –and that kind of advertisement is common in other countries).

The outcome of May 9 may show the body-politic's frustrations over the status quo, says economist Alvin Ang of the Ateneo de Manila University. And current survey front-runners may have possibly captured that "angry vote," Franco adds.

Turning points?

Beyond the personalities, however, both Ang and Franco think political maturity remains a long journey especially for a young democracy like the Philippines. For one, Ang is dismayed a recent report by the Philippines' development planning agency called Ambition 2040 wasn't even used by any candidate.

Ambition 2040 interviewed 10,000 Filipinos and asked them about their dreams for the country: simple and comfortable living (79 percent); eradicating poverty (most important economic goal for 28.7 percent of respondents); choosing a job at home (69 percent); and eliminating corruption, especially the petty corruption, to achieve a better future (says majority of the study's 42 focus group discussions' respondents).

Had the results of Ambition 2040 been used during campaign sorties or during the televised debates, candidates "could have upped the ante (of Philippine electoral reforms), focusing on platforms and not just on personalities," Ang told The Filipino Connection.

Franco, for another, notices a shift: voters seem to be searching for a decisive leader, especially since being a fighter against corruption "is not enough".

Franco also noticed one tickle of the Filipino voter: "Filipinos do not want candidates who have made politics their ambition. They want (candidates who run as a form of) sacrifice, noticing the needs of the nation."

Filipino voters check the voters' list as they queue up in Davao City on Monday, May 9, 2016. AP / Bullit Marquez

This is even if Franco laments sustained economic growth will not immediately bring down aspired electoral reforms to Filipinos who are in lower-income groups: "That (situation) will take time."

Voters like Gatiano are aware of the divisiveness and uncertainty this election had wrought, with both not as smooth as his day-and-night driving that he wishes to be always filled with safety and public security. As a daily taxi driver, he wishes for a candidate who will provide samples on how to get things done, with conviction. That's on top of givens such as curbing corruption and helping the poor, both of which outgoing President Aquino had done.

"I hope criminality will be curbed," Gatiano said in Filipino.

The country had tried leaders who are intelligent and not corrupt, said Gatiano, adding that Aquino's term is sulit (worth it). But as the economist Ang and the political scientist Franco had their political reform aspirations for the nation, Gatiano has his own reformist wish: "Can we try someone else (Puwede bang iba naman)?"

Jeremaiah M. Opiniano is the publisher of The Filipino Connection, a regional partner of Philstar.com.


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