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‘Respect the Filipino people’s will,’ says the NTF. -ELCAC

MANILA, Philippines — The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) urged various groups to gather in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Intramuros, Manila on Tuesday to protest alleged widespread electoral fraud in the May 9 polls to “respect” the will of the Filipino people and avoid being part of the problem.

“The people have had their say. Respect that person’s opinion. Otherwise, by grieving over something that has already been determined by the public, you will lose whatever self-respect and dignity you have left. Accept your defeat. In a press statement, NTF-ELCAC Acting Spokesperson for Legal Affairs Flosemer Chris Gonzales said, “Respect the Filipino people’s will.”

Gonzales urged the demonstrators not to let what he called a “ruckus” and “meltdown of emotions” develop into a threat to national security as a result of their electoral loss.

“Do not be a part of the problem if you cannot bear to accept the election results and participate in nation-building.” He went on to say, “This is a time for unity and solidarity.”

He advised them to “go home,” “pray,” “plant trees,” “wash the dishes,” and “spend time with your mum or dad” instead of creating protests.

“Do not spend your time and your future in the company of a misguided and dissatisfied mob that is unable of being courteous and gracious enough to respect the Filipino people’s will,” he added.

“Supporters of a presidential candidate and numerous senate candidates united with the said presidential aspirant who lost ng bonggang bongga during the May 9, 2022 elections,” Gonzales added, describing the protests as “an act of desperation.”

He did not mention the presidential and senatorial candidates in question.

According to Gonzales, it is the state’s responsibility to remind demonstrators to “remain within the confines of the law.”

Law enforcement agencies will deal with any attempt or overt conduct that disrupts the peace and order and causes harm to the public, according to him.

“Do not make the authorities use the full force of the law to prosecute you. Allow yourself to not be used and exploited by anti-government groups to further their own selfish agenda,” he added.

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running partner, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, are leading the presidential and vice-presidential races, respectively, after the publication of a partial and unofficial tally based on the Comelec’s transparency server.

Marcos is expected to win the presidential election by a large margin, while Sara is leading by a large margin, according to preliminary figures.

‘Reach across partisan lines.’

Lorraine Marie Badoy, the NTF ELCAC Spokesperson for Social Media Affairs and Sectoral Concerns issued a separate statement urging Filipinos to unify rather than divide the country.

“We would like to encourage our compatriots to unclench their fists, reach over party boundaries and whatever else we imagine divides us, close ranks, and rally behind the leaders chosen by the people.” “The Filipino people win when they succeed,” Badoy remarked.

She claimed that the election results demonstrate the country’s “vibrant” democracy, in which individuals are free to express themselves.

Badoy also commended Filipinos on defeating “state foes” who attempted to subvert the people’s will.

“We must continue to reject those who claim to be champions of democracy while demonstrating a lamentable inability to respect the very democracy they claim to defend,” she continued.

She praised President Rodrigo R. Duterte for conducting “one of the cleanest, most trustworthy elections in history.”

“Truly, he has once again demonstrated why he has been the most trusted public official in his administration since he took office, and why he has consistently enjoyed trust and approval ratings that most democratic leaders can only dream of- even as he prepares to leave office in about a month,” she said.

Duterte, who chose not to back any presidential contender, will leave office on June 30.

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