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Marcos: Ensure 'unalterable' results to maintain polls' sanctity

Amid the preparations for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday emphasized the importance of ensuring “unalterable” results to maintain the sanctity of the polls.

“On this note, I underscore the Comelec’s critical role as the guardians of our people’s sovereign will in ensuring the integrity of the electoral process,” Marcos said in his speech during the last day of the 2023 National Election Summit held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.

“Hence, we should ensure accurate and unalterable results so as to maintain the sanctity of the polls and the people’s trust,” he added.

Marcos asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to be open to the recommendations of experts and Filipino voters, who, he said, are “partners in ensuring free, orderly, honest, and credible elections.”

“As a democratic and republican government, we derive our power from the people, we recognize that sovereignty is exercised by its citizens through suffrage,” the President said.

Marcos said that in guaranteeing honest poll results, “we must continue to discuss the nitty-gritty of our processes, including recalibrating the capacity of our teachers as electoral board members, and integrating voter education in the curricula of K to 12, tertiary level, and the National Service Training Program.”

Further, Marcos urged the poll body to immediately act on the electoral reforms proposed during the preparatory consultations with various stakeholders to improve the system. 

"It is encouraging to know that prior to this summit, the preparatory consultations with various stakeholders in the public and private sectors were conducted nationwide. From these pre-summit meetings, it has come to [our] attention that several reforms in the election process must be made," he said.

"And given these findings, let us take these matters seriously as the outputs obtained from these activities are indisputably significant. We must act on it decisively and enforce concrete measures to turn our plans into reality," he added.

Marcos also said that with the use of modern technology, the government can implement positive reforms and make election result transmission faster while maintaining accuracy.

The summit’s objective was to solicit the suggestions of experts, Filipino voters, and other election stakeholders in the digital transformation of Comelec and the election system.

It also aims to secure the commitment of stakeholders to support the poll body’s roadmap towards a free, orderly, honest and credible elections and other electoral exercises.  —KBK/VBL, GMA Integrated News