Palace: Vote but choose candidates best qualified

On the eve of national elections, Malacañang enjoined nearly 66 million Filipino voters to select leaders who will prioritize the welfare of this nation of 110 million people.

Acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said: “Tomorrow, May 9, 2022, the Filipino people will exercise their right to vote. The Palace encourages all registered voters to use this occasion to choose the next set of leaders, who have the interest of the nation and the welfare of the citizens in their minds.”

Andanar said the May polls were “proof” of the country’s strong democracy and stability.

He also enjoined the public to adhere to minimum public health standards during the entire voting process.

“Let’s go to the precincts early and vote for the candidates we want to elect while continuing to follow the existing health and safety protocols,” he said.

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In a taped interview on Friday, President Rodrigo Duterte urged voters to be discerning in choosing the next president and look into the biodata of all 10 candidates.

“Please review the biodata of the candidates, including the presidency,” he added.

Duterte, during his remark at the United States’ Summit for Democracy convened by US President Joseph Biden Jr. in December 2021, described democracy in the Philippines as “vibrant.”

He said he would spend the remaining months of his term ensuring that no one was left behind as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I step down in June 2022. The work of our imperfect democracy will certainly continue. My administration will ensure an honest, peaceful, credible, and free elections in May,” he said.

He said it would be his “highest honor” to turn over the reins of power to his successor knowing that he did his best to serve the country and people.

More than 65.7 million Filipinos will be eligible to cast their ballots in the May polls, aside from the 1.697 million Filipinos overseas.

Majority of voters or 53,795,522 voters are aged 18 to 57.

In total, there are 37,015,901 voters aged 18-41 years old while there are 11,925,708 voters who are aged 58-60 and above.

The Commission on Elections has set voting hours from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., which can be extended depending on the number of voters.

Voters must follow standard health and safety protocols, such as the mandatory wearing of face masks, the voluntary wearing of face shields in areas under Alert Level 3 or lower, frequent washing or sanitizing of hands, and physical distancing.

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