So much is at stake in the upcoming May 13, 2019 elections. The powers-that-be are making sure the results continue to favor them. The Opposition and independent candidates are putting up a strong fight. Nonetheless, election fraud and widespread political repression to subvert the will of the people are now a certainty.

We have seen how the massive resources of government are being put to use to campaign for administration candidates. Government activities and functions are wantonly used as campaign platforms by the ruling party. Local governments are required to deliver support or incur the ire of the administration in power. On election day we can expect even more-than-usual rampant vote-buying while communities supportive of the Opposition and Independents will be prevented from voting.

Critics of the current administration are being subjected to political repression and persecution as well as systematic disinformation. For example, AFP pronouncements that it will campaign against the Makabayan Coalition, in clear violation of the prohibition against electioneering and partisan political activity on the part of government workers, are unacceptable. Equally alarming are threats against the mass media, lawyers, teachers, church people and others who have voiced criticisms or questioned the policies and actuations of the current administration. Local officials are also reported as being wooed and/or intimidated to deny support for opposition and independent candidates.

Recently revealed problems in the overseas absentee voting (OAV) threaten to disenfranchise thousands of overseas Filipinos. Voting machine problems at the start of the OAV may be a preview of more widespread problems on election day.

It is imperative that the people unite to denounce in the strongest terms election fraud, political repression and massive disinformation. All democratic forces must work together to expose and frustrate plans to undermine the May 13 elections, flawed and marred as it is by the worst forms of fraud with “guns, goons and gold”.

Widespread fraud must be met with widespread resistance and opposition. Poll results that are tainted with fraud must be rejected by the electorate.

With only a few days left before the elections, we call on our people to exercise their right to vote in defiance of the fear and pressure coming those in power. We call on voters to report incidents of fraud, intimidation and other irregularities. We call on the Filipino people to be vigilant and ready to act to thwart tyranny.

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