By: Adrian Dayrit
Filipinos in Alberta cast their overseas ballots in the Philippine National Election, which was held May 13.
Registered Filipino voters in Alberta were mailed their ballots and could deliver the ballots to the consulate in person or mail them in before the date of the election. Over 1,000 Filipinos in Canada mailed their ballots to the Philippine Consulate General in Calgary.
Though over 18,000 political posts were up for election across the country, the 12 senatorial positions up for grabs were the most watched, as it acted as a referendum for President Duterte’s policies.
Bato de la Rosa garnered the most votes from Filipinos in Alberta followed Doc Willie Ong and Bong Go. The party list that received the most votes from Filipinos in Alberta were the ACT-CIS followed by the AA-KASOSYO Party.
The voter turn-out for this election is reported at 74.3 %, which is down from the last midterm election in 2013, with a reported 77% turn-out.
“Some people had difficulty getting their ballots or couldn’t vote at all because they had changed their addresses or phone numbers.” says voter Benjie Lindo, Chairperson of Duterte Volunteers of Alberta Canada. “I was registered so I had no issues voting. I just wanted to vote pro- Duterte senators.”
Nine of the 12 elected senators are pro-Duterte and three are independents.
Opposition to Duterte is now a minority in the 24-seat Senate, which will allow the President to enact his more controversial policies without opposition.
The policies include re-enacting the death penalty and lowering the age of criminal liability to 12 years old.