By Zenaida Soriano, Amihan chairperson
THE peasant women’s group Amihan (National Federation of Peasant Women) joined farmers, fisherfolk, agricultural workers and urban poor groups under Anakpawis in a protest held at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) National Canvassing Center near the PICC in Manila and called for the suspension of proclamation of winning national candidates.
The Comelec should show transparency and answer the mounting protests against irregularities to prove the integrity and credibility of the election results.
As various errors on VCMs and SD cards as well as faulty election results transmission remain unexplained, the poll results will be tarnished with dishonesty and fabrication.
Amihan secretary general and Anakpawis partylist third nominee Cathy Estavillo decried the blatant attacks against progressive partylist groups and senatoriable Neri Colmenares.
During the campaign period, Anakpawis regional and provincial coordinators were victims of attacks and intimidation including extrajudicial killings and trumped-up charges while members and volunteers were threatened against voting for Anakpawis.
State forces including police and military elements were actively campaigning against Makabayan partylist groups by distributing malicious materials red tagging the groups and removing campaign posters even those in compliance with Comelec rules.
Anakpawis has also recorded cases of vote shaving, especially in the provinces where there are significant discrepancies in votes garnered compared to our members and volunteers.
These are systematic efforts of the Duterte government to discredit the legitimate and genuine representation of farmers, workers, fisherfolk, agricultural workers and urban poor as progressive partylists like Anakpawis have consistently opposed the anti-poor and anti-Filipino policies of the administration.