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Danao to losing bets: Don’t ‘agitate’ supporters drop lead: ‘Be gracious in defeat’
PHILIPPINE National Police Officer-in-Charge (PNP-OIC), Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr. on Wednesday called on candidates who lost in the just concluded national and local elections to stop “agitating” their supporters and launch street protests that would only derail the government’s effort to uplift the economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top cop issued the call as the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan railed on issues including alleged “cheating” during the conduct of last Monday’s elections, which saw former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte beating the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem by a mile.
Vice President Robredo said she would accept whatever would be the final results of the 2022 presidential race and urged her supporters to do the same but at the same time added they will continue to check on issues raised about the conduct of the polls.
Lt. Gen. Danao, however, said he was puzzled by the charges of “massive cheating” being raised by the camps of VP Robredo and Pangilinan.
“Saan po naman nila napulot ang mga akusasyon na yan? Me pre-election surveys since the start of the campaign period which showed that the leaders in those surveys were the same persons who won in last Monday’s elections,” he said.
Comelec (Commission on Elections) Commissioner Marlon Casquejo had said that allegations of cheating made by some netizens will be hard to prove, particularly claims of a supposedly consistent 47% ratio between votes cast for Marcos and Robredo.
“Mahirap i-prove ‘yan ‘pag sinabi mong may cheating with regards to that percentage. Unang-una yung ating system natin, dumaan yan sa ating certification. So meron tayong local source code review, how can you insert such percentage na ipanalo yung kandidato, or matalo yung kandidato?” he said.
Danao also said that when Marcos Jr. lost the vice-presidency to VP Robredo in May 2016, there were no street protests organized by the latter’s camp.
Instead, the Marcos camp brought their case to the proper court.
“Let’s bring it to the proper forum,” he said, calling on defeated candidates to file their grievances before the court and not resort to street actions that would further contribute to economic hardships.
Lt. Gen. Danao said that since Day 1, “We’ve been calling for sobriety. For us, let the cooler heads prevail. Yan ang pakiusap namin sa lahat,” he said while maintaining that police will always exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with street demonstrations but will not hesitate to enforce the law once the protesters are already violating it.
‘Grateful for Lacson, Isko, and Pacquiao for conceding early’
The PNP-OIC at the same time gave his “salute” to Senators Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson and Manny Pacquiao and outgoing Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for conceding early to Marcos, the runaway winner of the 2022 presidential race.
“Ako po ay sumasaludo sa mga natalo na presidentiables na nag-concede agad. They really showed their statesmanship, their being true leaders. Sa mga talunan, please don’t agitate your supporters . We already have a bad economy due to the pandemic, hindi pa tayo nakakabawi ng husto dahil sa COVID-19 kaya please lang ‘wag na po ninyong dagdagan pa ang ating malaking problema,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.
At the same time, he called on the losing candidates to let the will of the people prevail and refrain from taking advantage of the vulnerability of the youth and government scholars included in taking their protest to the streets.
He referred to students of government-run universities who are known for joining street demonstrations without the knowledge of their parents and guardians.
“Sana po sa ating mga iskolar ng gobyerno, tapusin po natin ng maayos ang ating pag-aaral at ‘pag nakatapos po tayo, saka po tayo tumakbo sa eleksyon. ‘Wag po nating sayangin ang pera ng gobyerno,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the partial and unofficial Comelec count showed that Marcos is the presumptive presidential winner with over 31 million votes, leading Robredo by more than 16 million votes.
Duterte, on the other hand, is leading Pangilinan by more than 21 million votes in the race for the vice presidency.
Lt. Gen. Danao on Tuesday called on losing candidates to rein in on their supporters and avoid making “incendiary” statements that would further agitate their men to launch troubling street protests and other kinds of demonstrations.
“We have been receiving so many reports about upcoming rallies and we don’t want to quantify on this matter. Una we all have our own rights, we have our own grievances but let’s always exercise sobriety. Kung natalo man yun mga ibang kandidato, kung puwede magpakahinahon po tayo, pagbigyan po natin ang resulta ng boto,” he said.
The official said that it was undeniable that Marcos will win the presidency. “When the President (Rodrigo Roa Duterte) won, he only had 45%, but he won. What more for the man running for president who has a 50 plus rating,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.
“It’s very obvious, when the President (Duterte) won, he only had 45%, but he won, how much for the running president who has 50 plus. My only appeal to the public is to “keep your calm”. Maging mahinahon po tayo at nandito na po yung resulta. Bigyan po natin ng pagkakataon ang mga winners to prove their worth,” he said.
The PNP-OIC said that as early as two to three months ago, they have already been preparing for post-election scenarios, including street rallies planned by losing candidates with the alleged backing of the CPP/NPA/NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front).
“We have our contingency plans to ensure peace and order, to thwart any untoward incident. We assure everybody that your PNP is ready to face any problem like those,” he said.
Monday’s national and local elections made history as the “most peaceful” polls in the country in recent history, the top cop said as police continued to guard the canvassing of votes cast.
“My instruction to Police Regional Directors is to ensure that all PNP security personnel will remain in their posts until, after all election equipment, documents, and personnel have been withdrawn from the polling centers,” he added.
Official records released by PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management, Major Gen. Omega Jireh D. Fidel showed that from January 9 to May 9 this year, the PNP recorded a total of 16 Election-Related Incidents or ERIs compared to the 166 recorded during the same period in 2010 and the 133 reported during the same period in 2016.
Even the number of focused crimes or the eight major crimes remarkably went down last Monday compared to the May 9, 2016 records.
A total of 58 crimes, including nine cases of murder; two homicides; 25 physical injuries, four rape cases; five robbery incidents; 12 theft cases; and one motorcycle theft, were recorded by the police force on Monday.
In contrast, the PNP recorded 25 murder cases, seven homicide cases; 86 physical injuries; 41 rape cases; 63 incidents of robbery; 108 theft cases of motor vehicle theft; and 29 incidents of motorcycle theft on May 9, 2016.
“Let me extend the sincerest gratitude to all who comprise security personnel that composes the 214,485 law enforcement muscle of Comelec for a job well done, especially to all PNP members.
“But the mission of the PNP does not end there. From here, the PNP is moving on to the unfinished business of implementing the requirements of the criminal justice system, particularly to violations of law committed during the election period,” Lt. Gen. Danao said. By Alfred Dalizon