The Pulse Asia exit poll, together with quick counts, was the sum of all administration fears (at which the Inquirer editorial took a tart look). For an analysis of the exit poll, see Philippine Commentary. The exit poll and the quick count therefore became the focus of the papers today:
In the Namfrel count, Legarda placed first in tabulations from Metro Manila, Regions 1, 2, 7, 12 and the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Escudero led in Regions 4, 5, 8, 9,10, 11 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Pangilinan, as of the final report released last night, was leading in Region 6 and Caraga, while Angara was No. 1 in Central Luzon.
Four TU candidates, including Zubiri, Recto, Prospero Pichay and Michael Defensor, were outside the winning circle.
GO’s Sonia Roco and John Osmeña placed 17th and 18th, respectively. TU’s Vicente Sotto and Cesar Montano occupied the 19th and 20th places.
Namfrel’s initial figures yesterday were culled from precincts in Ilocos Norte, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Kalinga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Batangas, Laguna, Marinduque, Quezon, Rizal, Albay and Catanduanes in Luzon;
Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Samar and Southern Leyte in the Visayas;
Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, North and South Cotabato, Maguindanao, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur in Mindanao.
In Metro Manila, Nassa-Namfrel included reports from 71 precincts from Mandaluyong City and 18 from Muntinlupa City.
Foreign media reports are interesting, too: see Reuters, the Christian Science Monitor, the Voice of America, ABC Radio Australia, and GulfNews.
Paul Darwynn Garilao sums up the points and counter-points of both pro and anti exit poll camps. But the surveys might be even more of a whammy because the command vote and machinery may have broken down in the Visayas or been thwarted by poll-watcher’s vigilance in places like Samar and could possibly be yanked out in Davao. In Inquirer Current, John Nery points to Ralph Recto’s suggestion that, unsure if we’d even have elections, candidates had to murder each other to compensate for lost campaigning time.
My Arab News column for this week is Philippine Govt Annoyed by Public Opinion. I must say this summary of what the poll numbers means, surprises me. Coming from Palace booster Tony Lopez as it does:
The people have spoken. They want new faces. They want new leaders. They want change. They want new directions. They don’t want Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. These are the possible conclusions one can make looking at the senatorial race based on early returns from the quick count by ABS-CBN-STI.
And the Palace doesn’t want too many people saying the above. And so… The cheating’s there. There are many options, and they’re being demonstrated by means of news reports and blog entries. You have news reports of how the cheating’s being done in Masbate. Among bloggers, Inblogosphere recounts volunteering to join the quick count in Baguio, and the cheating she’s encountered in looking at electoral returns:
— There’s an FPJm partylist in the Election Return. But in the actual Certificate of Canvasses which is the basis of major Comelec count the same FPJm partylist was totally ignored. I[t] was not in the list!
— There are only 15 votes for Montano, 45 for Richard Gomez for one sample ER. The total result is totally padded for one side – Gomez has now 65 votes. And Montano- Zero votes.
— Votes for Alan Peter Cayetano was added to the other nuisance Cayetano.
— Certificate of Canvasses total results of votes is not the same with the corresponding election returns.
And how Overseas Fiilpino Voters voted: according to The Arab News only a small percentage did, but the results do suggest that that minority felt strongly enough to vote and express how they feel:
ABS-CBN reports on how Filipinos in America voted:
It took the embassy’s election deputies headed by Nolasco nearly 16 hours to finish counting about 700 ballots. Based on preliminary totals, the top 12 were: Francis Pangilinan (456), Loren Legarda (424), Ralph Recto (395), Joker Arroyo (388), Benigno Aquino III (381), Manuel Villar (370), Edgardo Angara (338), Panfilo Lacson (326), Aquilino “Coco” Pimentel (297), Francis Escudero (293), Vicente Magsaysay, Alan Peter Cayetano (281) and Sonia Roco (280).
And at home: see the updated Namfrel and other quick counts, nationally. And quick count results in Cebu as of 10 pm last night, quick count results in Davao as of 5:30 pm last night; and for Zamboanga as of 8:25 am; Surigao del Norte as of 4:45 am; and Pampanga (very thorough report online). A text message I got (I hope Iloilo City Boy or someone can verify this) has an opposition sweep, per Bombo Radyo’s final, unofficial, quick count:
Ellen Tordesillas gives a rundown of the significant local races.
Honesto General wrote this nice reflection on the whole thing:
The voting was one big social event. Everyone came: the young and old, rich and the poor, the hale and the infirm, the master and servant, the mistress and maid. Everyone had exactly one vote each. We filled up our ballots on two tables that ran the whole length of the court.
We should be proud that everyone who came could read and write. Not too many countries in the Third World can match that.
The Filipino woman won the right to vote almost three-quarters of a century ago. The Kuwaiti women won her right to suffrage only last year. There are many countries whose women are not yet allowed to vote.
Of course, there are still a lot of things wrong with our democracy. The killings are our national shame. But the killings are mostly to fight for control of the illegal lottery “jueteng,” smuggling and the rackets. As they kill each other, the country might be better off — maybe.
A democracy is like a house that is never finished. It is work in progress. The greatest tragedy is to lose hope. As we deplore the dark side of our democracy, let us count our blessings. And there are a lot of blessings that we should be thankful for. We just are not looking for them in the right places.
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