Yet once more we salute the nearly 66 million Filipino voters at home and abroad who trooped to their respective polling precincts Monday and, against all odds attendant in every electoral process, put their respective marks on the two-page long ballot where they cast their stake for their future.
It was axiomatically judgment day for more than 18,000 elective positions, from president down to the last town councilor, which capped for the aspiring national leaders a sapping 90-day campaign – shorter for those who ran for local posts – alongside traditional poll surveys and the new ones like Kalye surveys.
As the voting hours closed last night, the initial results of the historic exercise done during a jabbing coronavirus pandemic started to drip out from more than 106 clustered precincts across this nation of 100 million people.
Many have started to watch the electoral post-shading activities, high in the hope that their votes would be properly counted in a methodical and honest vote count – away from the dangers of any unnecessary illusions or magic that would destroy the sanctity of the ballots cast.
Beyond the personalities involved in the general elections, beyond the slogans and the often sardonic, at times distasteful, rhetoric from majority of the candidates that carried them during their rallies and caravans, we pause once more and remind ourselves that the day is done, as it were.
Certainly, passions had run high with political differences coming under sharper focus. At the end of the day, we join the majority of Filipinos in praying for an honest and credible elections, against reports of some vote counting machines not working up to near sundown which sent butterflies up the spines of many ready to vote.
In some areas, some local officials were already proclaimed last night to be followed by the proclamation of provincial and congressional winners by noon today, if the timetable of the Commission on Elections would not be disrupted.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia has given assurances the new senators can be proclaimed in three to four days, which means as early as this coming Sunday. The Comelec will eventually convene as the National Board of Canvassers to count and proclaim the 12 new senators and winning party list groups.
Two weeks from yesterday, on May 23, the Senate and the House of Representatives will then convene to hold the official canvass for president and vice president with, by Comelec’s calendar, the proclamation of winning candidates for these positions done likely by the first week of June.
What we should recognize and appreciate are the voters who, in their clustered precincts yesterday, stood up for the future of their country in this headline exercise.