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‘Paano naging kasalanan ng tao’: Karen Davila, Mel Tiangco, Vicky Morales cry foul over election-related anomalies

By Hannah Mallorca Published May 10, 2022 8:44 pm

Just three brave females not holding back. 

Netizens have been all over veteran journalists Karen Davila, Mel Tiangco, and Vicky Morales as they voiced out their sentiments against faulty vote-counting machines (VCMs), non-extension of voting hours, and other anomalies that happened during the May 9 elections

In a TV Patrol interview with Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner George Garcia on the same day, Davila questioned the polling body’s non-extension of voting hours on election day, no holds barred.

“Ano ba ang kakailanganin para ang Comelec en banc ay mag-desisyon na i-extend. Dalawang oras lang naman po ang hinihingi. And mind you, iba’t ibang kandidato na ang na i-extend nang dalawang oras,” Davila said. 

The broadcast journalist also stressed that it’s neither the voters nor the pandemic’s fault why many people weren’t able to cast their votes on time. 

“And mind you, Commissioner. Hindi kasalanan ng pandemya kung bakit nagka-ganito ang pila. Ang mga VCM machine po, apat na oras nakatayo ang mga tao sa linya para bumoto. Paano naging kasalanan ng tao ‘yun? At paano naging kasalanan ng pandemya ‘yun? What will it take to change the Comelec en banc’s mind,” Davila said.

Davila also took to social media to empathize with voters who experienced election-related anomalies, saying Comelec needs to be “held accountable.”

“The Comelec must answer for so many reports of vote-counting machines that have broken down. This is not Smartmatic’s first run. There is no excuse. What gives,” Davila said.

On the other hand, Tiangco didn’t hold herself back from speaking up about malfunctioning VCMs and other election-related anomalies with reporter Tina Panganiban-Perez in an episode of GMA-7’s 24 Oras.

“Bago ang eleksyon, nagkaroon tayo ng malawakang eksamen diyan sa bawat mga VCM na yan para maiwasan precisely ang ganitong mga kaganapan para sa ikaganda ng ating pagtingin o ang ating pagtiwala sa magaganap na botohon. Ano ba ang kinulang at hindi nakamit iyon,” Tiangco said. 

Tiangco added that Comelec assured voters that VCMs would work smoothly on election day. “There has got to be a very good reason na sasabihin ng Comelec kung bakit nagka-ganyan. Kanina pang umaga, VCM nang VCM ang mga problems."

In a separate interview, Tiangco traded barbs with Bongbong Marcos Jr.’s chief of staff and spokesperson Vic Rodriguez as he spoke about the dictator’s son leading the partial and unofficial polls.

“Napag-usapan po ninyo ‘yung galing at talento, kitang-kita naman po ng marami ‘yung galing at talento ng ating Vice President, Leni Robredo,” Tiangco said. Rodriguez, however, asked the journalist to shift the topic to Marcos Jr.’s wide lead instead.

Meanwhile, Morales couldn’t help herself from speaking up about Marcos Jr.’s wide lead over his rivals in an interview with University of the Philippines (U.P.) political science professor Ranjit Rye.

“Basically, this election has written the way elections are won in this country. Hindi na kailangan maglatag ng plataporma sa mga debate, hindi kailangan mag-grant ng interview. Kailangan mo lang siguro ng tanyag na apelyido, solid ang machinery mo and social media, and long history in politics,” Morales said. 

Of course, netizens had a lot to say about Davila, Tiangco, and Morales’ explosive statements on social media.

Twitter user @heyyovirgo agreed with Tiangco’s pointed statement about faulty VCMs. “Comelec says there’s no assurance daw talaga na walang magiging aberya dahil 12 years na ang mga machines and yet… Why are they only saying it now - Ms. Mel Tiangco.”

@theglentot, meanwhile, said Davila and Tiangco “spoke out what's in everyone's minds.”

Twitter user @SIMP4JIS00 praised Davila, Tiangco, and Morales, along with veteran journalists Jessica Soho and Pia Hontiveros-Pagkalinawan for “standing firm” with their election coverage.

According to a report by Philstar.com, some voters still waited four hours after polling precincts were scheduled to close on election day because of defective VCMs. 

Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco, however, assured the public that it would face allegations of anomalies should there be any complaints before the Supreme Court or the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. 

“We are willing and ready. Pag kami ay na-subpoena ng Supreme Court or mga Presidential Electoral Tribunal, kahit man Senate Electoral Tribunal or House of Representatives Electoral Tribunals, ang Komisyon ng Halalan po ay tumatalima,” Laudiangco said.