Home>News>Nation>Roque confident of cleaner 2022 nat’l polls

Roque confident of cleaner 2022 nat’l polls

Harry Roque

UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque said the May 2022 elections would likely be a ‘cleaner’ process than in 2016 because an impeached official like fugitive Andres’ Andy’ Bautista is not sitting as Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair.

“This year’s presidential elections won’t be marred by serious cheating allegations with the absence of Bautista, who has gone into hiding in the United States since 2017,” Roque said.

The former presidential spokesman disclosed recently that he had to decline the Comelec chairmanship because the poll body should have a non-partisan head, unlike Bautista.

“Flight is the evidence of guilt,” Roque said. “Otherwise, he should return to the country and explain before Congress whether there was cheating in the 2016 elections, especially in the vice-presidential race.”

Roque continued: “For five years, Bautista has evaded an arrest warrant issued by the Senate. If we value the integrity of our institutions and survival of our democracy, then people like him should never be appointed in any government position.”

The House of Representatives impeached Bautista over allegations of ill-gotten wealth and election-related offenses in 2017.

Roque, a former party-list representative of the 17th Congress, recalled that he was among the three members of Congress who vigorously pursued Bautista’s impeachment right from the House justice committee level.

In 2018, the Senate issued a warrant for his arrest for repeatedly snubbing a committee probe over his unexplained wealth. He failed to attend the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on electoral reforms hearings.

Roque urged Bautista to immediately come home and answer questions surrounding the source code, data privacy leak, and election-related bribery, among other allegations.

He added that only the Comelec chair and Smartmatic could keep the source code of the automated election system, which can be manipulated to affect the final election results.

In 2016, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. narrowly lost the vice-presidential race to Maria Leonor Robredo. In the same year, Marcos filed an electoral protest against Robredo, citing several election irregularities and anomalies.

In 2021, the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal unanimously dismissed the electoral protest filed by Marcos against Robredo. Marcos has filed an appeal to the High Court to reverse its decision.

Roque, who authored the Universal Health Care law, free irrigation, free wi-fi, and free-state college and university tuition, is running with party standard-bearers Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Both Marcos and Robredo are contesting the presidency in this year’s May elections. Marcos has overwhelmingly topped several presidential surveys by independent pollsters since October.


Journal Online
A collection of noteworthy information on various topics from the Philippines and the rest of the world.