MANILA- Malacañang on Friday urged Filipinos to exercise their right to suffrage on Monday's midterm elections.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo reminded the Filipino electorate of the importance of voting, describing suffrage as “the strongest form of action an individual can perform in a democratic society.”
Candidates meanwhile were told to ask their supporters to observe an honest and orderly polls.
“We enjoin all Filipinos who are eligible to vote to participate in this healthy democratic exercise as we call on all candidates across the political spectrum to ask their supporters to observe an honest, orderly, peaceful and credible elections reflective of the people’s genuine will,” Panelo said in a statement.
A total of 61,843,750 Filipinos have registered to vote for the May 13 elections, data from the Commission on Elections showed.
The Philippines on Monday will elect 12 senators, all the members of the House of Representatives, and officials at the provincial, city, and municipal level.
“This is the only time that the rich and poor alike as well as the powerful and the weak will have equal value in the weighing scale as regards their vote," Panelo said.
Any hindrance or manipulation of the right to vote is a lethal attack against the very heart of our country's democracy.”
Malacañang also urged the Commission on Elections to ensure the "integrity of the ballots."
"Any form of cheating committed by the electoral body's personnel or contractor (Smartmatic) will not to be tolerated by this Administration," Panelo said.
ALL SYSTEMS GO
The Palace also assured the voting public that preparations for the upcoming elections are already in place with a total of 36,000 schools to be used as polling precincts and 230,000 teachers set to serve as members of the electoral boards.
Despite the frequent power outages across the country, Panelo said the Department of Energy assured the Palace of a stable electricity supply.
“The Department of Energy has assured that there will be stable power on the day of the elections, the same being a paramount concern as electricity is required in the automated voting system,” Panelo said.
In terms of security, a total of 150,000 policemen will be deployed across the country to ensure public safety.
Panelo said the Philippine National Police has also launched its National Election Monitoring Action Center to monitor situations in polling precincts from its headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Activities that will be monitored include the arrival of vote counting machines (VCMs), counting of ballots, and delivery of ballot boxes, Panelo said.